Serbia + 1 more

Kosovo Winterisation Progress Report Issue #7

Emergency repair kits - About 90% of the total number of repair kits have been distributed by ECHO, UNHCR and OFDA/USAID. UNHCR has distributed 13,000 kits to an estimated 13,000 families (91,000 persons) in more than 300 villages throughout the province - priority allocation was given to the highly damaged regions of Djakovica, Mitrovica, Pristina and Pec. ECHO has distributed more kits in the regions of Pristina, Djakovica and Prizren. UNHCR’s balance of 3,000 kits (see below) are now being kept as for emergency cases and are essentially distributed to houses receiving roofing kits to augment their dry-room capacity to host more persons. Both ECHO and OFDA/USAID separately provide additional materials to their emergency repair kits in order to augment them and to provide more insulation to the rooms the kits are covering.

Distributed in Kosovo

Roofing programmes - UNHCR complements its emergency repair kits with 4,200 expanded roofing kits comprised essentially of roofing timber, roofing plastic and nails. These expanded kits are expected to provide accommodation for an estimated 12,600 families. Some 1,200 of the roofing kits provided by UNHCR are donated by the Govenrment of Denmark (DANIDA) - over 10,600 cubic meters of this donation have arrived and UNHCR is expecting the imminent delivery of the last 400 cubic meters to complete the donation. Overall, some 2,900 of the 4,200 roofing kits have already been released to 130 villages - these provide shelter to an estimated 8,700 families (over 60,000 persons). OFDA/USAID has a similar programme for the provision of 5,900 roofs destined for rural locations and 2,000 for urban areas - some 59% of these roofs have already been distributed to their beneficiaries. Recipients of all roofing kits are requested to host additional families.

Together with the timber provided for the emergency repair kits, UNHCR has now received over 85% of the 24,000 cubic meters of wood it had ordered for its overall emergency shelter programme.

Other Programmes - the Office of the SRSG is directly implementing a $8.96 million complementary rehabilitation project to supplement shelter elements of the mainframe programme. The objective is to provide resources for the emergency rehabilitation of some 3,000 houses. Selection of beneficiaries is conducted through regional and municipal housing commissions with the full participation of both international and national actors. The overall project is funded by the governments of France and Japan and is composed of three components:

procurement of shelter materials - various materials (essentially timber and tiles) are being procured through UNOPS to establish 4 banks/storages of shelter materials in Mitrovica, Djakova and Pec regions. The banks in Pec, Mitrovica town and Srbica municipalities have been established and UNMIK reports that work is ongoing on 636 houses out of 1,363 planned. Another 74 of houses have already been completed in Pec region.

cash for housing - UNMIK is paying invoices directly to local suppliers who provide materials for the rehabilitation of selected beneficiaries while implementing partner ADRA Japan monitors the works conducted directly by the beneficiaries. Out of 530 houses selected for rehabilitation, 240 have been completed while work is ongoing in the other 290 houses in the municipalities of Srbica, Mitrovica, Klina and Glogovac.

cash for beneficiaries - funds are distributed in 2 instalments directly to selected beneficiaries for the sole purpose of funding the rehabilitation (procurement and labour costs) of their houses. Average cost per house is DM3,000. This project is implemented in the regions of Djakovica, Pec and Mitrovica. Through the regular provision of instalments, work is currently ongoing on 503 houses out of the 525 houses planned.

Shelter contingency measures

prefabricated units - all prefabricated units donated to UNHCR have been allocated through implementing partners for Cabra in Mitrovica, Loxhe in Pec and Decane in Djakovica. In Cabra, all 158 units are now in place and about 930 beneficiaries have already moved in. All 142 units have also been installed in Loxhe where 80 families have moved into 80 units so far - the other units will be occupied in the coming days as small finishing works are being completed on the remaining units. In Decane, 90% of the 200 units are in place but number of beneficiaries moving in to be confirmed.

temporary community shelters - some 19,800 individual places have been identified in 117 different collective accommodation projects and UNHCR is currently undertaking the rehabilitation of 95 projects (13,000 places) in a two phased approach. The balance of 23 facilities are either projects which are funded and rehabilitated by other agencies or projects which are reserved as a future contingency in case additional capacity is needed. To date, 48 shelters have been fully rehabilitated. Accommodation facilities identified vary according to regional specificities - they can include student dormitories and hotels, appartment blocks, empty factories, unfinished individual houses which can accommodate several families or even barns which are modified and serviced to allow for winterised tented accommodation. Sixty-two of the above 118 facilities already accommodate over 5,200 persons, most of whom are either non-Albanian internally displaced, Croatian refugees or recent returnees with destroyed homes who need to identify alternative accommodation. There are so far only a few known cases of persons leaving their current accommodation for collective facilities - this situation can certainly be partly attributed to the relatively mild climatic conditions experienced so far in the province.

tents - UNHCR will distribute 15,000 all-season tents which have now all arrived in Kosovo and of which 1,200 have been distributed. The distribution of tents occurs simultaneously with the heating stoves as these are received - considering the hardship associated with tented accommodation in winter conditions, beneficiaries only include persons awaiting the receipt of committed roofing material or persons from irrepairable houses not willing to avail themselves of the other preferred options for winter accommodation (such as temporary community shelters, host families). Since mid-June, UNHCR has distributed a total of 12,300 regular tents to support rehabilitation efforts of families - another 5,700 of this category of lighter tents are also being kept in stock for contingency purposes.

rigid shelters - in Mitrovica, UNHCR and CARE have designed a rigid shelter prefabricated scheme for families with destroyed houses. The beneficiaries are from high-elevation villages where people refuse to move despite the lack of emergency housing alternatives in those villages. A prototype of the prefabricated shelter has been built and Scottish Charities Kosova Appeal (SCKA) will finance the first 50 units to be produced from locally-procured plywood, plastic sheeting and insulation materials.

Stoves - of 30,000 multi-purpose stoves ordered, 27,500 have been received by UNHCR in Kosovo - some 24,200 of these stoves have been distributed. Over 70% of another 15,000 stoves destined for the all-season tents (see above) have been received in Kosovo of which 1,200 have been distributed. OFDA/USAID has distributed close to 13,000 of 20,400 multipurpose stoves which are targeting host families throughout the province. Numerous other agencies, such as ICRC, MCI, SDR, and Caritas are also in the process of procuring and distributing stoves. Current commitments of all agencies and UNHCR would indicate that needs for stoves are relatively well covered.

Firewood - together, ECHO, UNHCR and IOM have distributed over 56,000 of the 93,000 cubic meters of firewood they have committed for the whole province. A number of other actors are also conducting small localised distributions which complement the larger programmes. ECHO will distribute 18,000 cubic metres of firewood to 6,000 families in Mitrovica region through their partner, Premiere Urgence. Over 3,000 families have already received their allocation. In Prizren region, several NGOs are undertaking firewood distributions (Caritas, CARE, ICS) and IOM has started its distribution programme by delivering 845 cubic meters of firewood to intended beneficiaries. The organisation has announced it will distribute 1.5 cubic meters of firewood to 27,000 units (schools, vulnerable households, and hospitals) before mid-January. In addition, UNHCR plans to distribute 60,000 cubic metres of firewood destined to cover needs of some 20,000 extremely vulnerable families in five regions of Kosovo. CARE (UNHCR’s implementing partner for this activity), has already distributed over 25,300 cubic meters which are assisting some 8,400 families.

Non-Food Items - With the assistance of eight main implementing partners, distribution of non-food items which started 14 June, continues throughout the province. This distribution comes in addition to relief items which returnees were allowed to bring back with them from refugee camps in Albania and fYROM.

One-Time Distributions
Initially planned(pieces)
Distributed in Kosovo
Total beneficiaries(persons)
Kitchen sets
Plastic sheeting
Monthly distributions
Distributed in Kosovo (average/month)
Total beneficiaries(persons/month)
Hygienic Kits
Soap (various types)

Winter clothing - on 31 October, UNHCR airlifted 570 cubic meters (61MT) of winter jackets for children, part of a EURO3 million winter clothing project financed by ECHO. Since mid-November when first distributions started with the cold weather, over 40% of 65,000 winter jackets destined for children aged 4-12 years have already been reached their beneficiaries throughout the province. Priority areas targeted are Pec, Mitrovica, Pristina and Prizren.

Committed (pieces)
Distributed in Kosovo
Children T-shirts
Children underwear
Children jackets
Children boots
Women undershirts

Winter Emergency Team - the team essentially operated in the regions of Djakovica and Mitrovica where they visited nine isolated villages at the request of field offices and/or other actors. Plastic sheeting was delivered to the three villages visited in Djakovica region and non-food items, clothes and stoves were delivered to two villages in Mitrovica region. Overall, food distribution was found to be running well in all locations and the other four villages visited in Mitrovica region required no emergency intervention from the team.


Food distribution - with the advent of more severe winter months, agencies are already foreseeing a number of food security and nutritional surveillance assessments to be carried out early in 2000. In this context, UNHCR and Action Against Hunger are planning a food security and anthropometric survey in January which will pay particular attention to the situation of the elderly. The same month, WFP is planning to carry out an assessment to determine more clearly the extent to which populations have moved/are moving from rural to urban environments during the winter months.

Pre-positioning food - all villages identified (144) as inaccessible in Gnjilane, Pristina and Urosevac have been provided with four-months food stocks. A total of 29 villages in Mitrovica region have now received two-months stocks (December/January) while pre-positioning in Peja and Prizren areas will be undertaken in 49 villages and 2 main distribution points. All villages in Djakovica area should remain accessible during the winter.

Food assessment of minorities - based on their findings, UNHCR and WFP have now developed guidelines for food distribution to minorities. These have been shared with implementing partners who will need to establish a better understanding of access to wheat flour in each of the rural non-Albanian communities - results will affect overall food requirements. Food assistance to minorities living in urban areas will remain at 100 percent since security and access to markets and employment remain major constraints for these communities.


Blace border - The vast majority of humanitarian cargo comes into Kosovo through the fYROM Blace border crossing and is experiencing major delays due to a variety of factors as explained in earlier issues. A number of proposals have been put forward and discussed concerning the development of a centralised collection/customs-clearance point at the EuroTrade Centre. UNMIK, fYROM and KFOR are setting-up a Steering Committee and three working groups (traffic management, customs and related issues, infrastructure).

A queue of about 250 empty trucks leaving Kosovo is causing major delays when exiting Kosovo for fYROM. To alleviate this, UNMIK is examining the possibility of diverting the trucks to a 5-km long parallel road (between Urosevac and Kacanik) from where they would be dispatched in an orderly manner to the border. The area requires some minor repairs and investment in sanitary facilities for which the EU Task Force (TAFKO) has already indicated an interest.

Roads - progress has been made concerning snow/ice clearance for the route between Pec and Montenegro - the appropriate and continued maintenance of this route is essential as it is used by a number of agencies delivering humanitarian aid to Kosovo and in particular by food aid organisations. KFOR has agreed to clear the route from Pec to the Montenegrin border, including the so-called "no man’s land" while the Montenegrin authorities are currently clearing the route from Rozaje to a few kilometers beyond the administrative boundary. The EU Task Force also reports that a number of snowploughs will be arriving in Kosovo in the next few days.

Railway - railroad development continues to improve with the recent arrival of 8 locomotives (2 from France and 6 from Germany). Stipend payments to transport personnel and railway workers has begun. French engineers continued working on the repair of the damaged rail bridge over Ibar River near Mitrovica which should be completed next week. The first freight train since May 1998 arrived in Prizren on 12 December.

This document is intended for public information purposes only. It is not an official UN document.

contact person:

Pascale Moreau
Office of the Special Envoy
UNHCR Pristina, Kosovo
tel. 389-70-254 863