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Kosovo: UNICEF Situation Report 29 Jan 2000

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UNICEF Situation Report (excerpts)
UNICEF Prishtina
UNICEF Programme Activities

Health

The Winterisation Programme for the Provision of Support to Health Houses and Maternity Wards has started. UNMIK, UNFPA, WHO, and UNICEF agreed, at a meeting on 20 January, to provide urgent limited heating resources to selected hospitals and health houses with maternity facilities throughout Kosovo. Some 21 health houses and hospitals requiring urgent support will benefit. Immediate support will comprise of the installation of heating in the birthing room and post-birthing room of each selected health facility. UNICEF will play a key role in this initiative by providing diesel generators and electric heaters to each facility, as required. In addition to this, UNICEF is conducting the distribution, installation, and training necessary to operate the heating resources.

The programme commenced on 25 January with the successful installation of heating resources by UNICEF at the Health House in Vushtri and the delivery of heating resources to the Health House in Podujevo, followed by the installation of heating resources at Health Houses in Vitia and Ferizaj, and a technical needs assessment of Pristina Hospital.

Health Houses at Kamenica, Skenderaj, Dragas, Istok, and Suhareke will also be provided with urgent UNICEF support this week followed by the remaining selected facilities. It is anticipated that this programme will be completed by early next week.

Education

The Education cluster was involved with the visit of UNICEF Technical Mission on Education. This Mission visited Kosovo in order to assess and suggest the best solutions for reconstruction of Category V schools, part of the project to be funded by Japanese Government. The Mission consisted of two staff from the Headquarters (Programming Division) and one staff from Copenhagen Supply Division. After many meetings, field visits and discussions, the Mission will present recommendations, including urgent tasks for the Education cluster in Prishitina, and Field Officers.

UNICEF has participated in the second meetings of the Design for an Education System for Kosovo (DESK) working group on Primary Education. The composition of the group has been defined and UNICEF is among seven members.

The firewood distribution in schools is still ongoing, but is suffering considerable delays due to the bad weather conditions.

Some 25,000 schoolbags arrived in the main warehouse to be distributed.

Child protection

The first task force meeting on Juvenile Justice took place at UNICEF and was chaired by the Head of Office. All key players were present and showed serious commitment to this issue. Priority areas were identified for future discussion and action.

The police trainer from United Kingdom, employed by UNICEF, is training the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPS) recruits in Vushtri, as well as doing in-service training for the policemen who have already been in service for 13 weeks. The training is highly appreciated although conducted in difficult circumstances, sometimes in rooms that are not heated.

A contract was signed with the NGO, Centro Regionale D'Intervento Per La Cooperazione (CRIC) for a pilot project in Prishtina, promotion of municipality (urban and rural) involving the home visit for children with disabilities, and liaison with promotion of the Prishtina school 'Naim Frasheri' to increase the attendance rate of children with special needs.

Mine Awareness

Mine Awareness cluster had a workshop for teachers and teacher trainers. Presentation was made by UN Mine Action Coordination Center (UNMACC), Handicap International (HI), Children's Aid Direct (CAD), Mines Advisory Group (MAG), Vietnam Veteran's of American Foundation (VVAF) and MAT. The workshop involved information sharing on current field activities and curricula in use.

For more information on UNICEF, visit its website at http://www.unicef.org