In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
The major issue determining the level of programme implementation in 2006 has been an invariable and significant lack of funding. In June the funding level for the year 2006 was still only at 33%. In response to the low funding level the Federation revised its 2006-2007 Appeal in July in order to better streamline and focus the planned programme activities and adjust the budget to the funding reality. The budget for 2006 was reduced by 30%. Following this revision, the Federation Office in Kosovo worked very hard to achieve a funding level of 75% by the end of the year (of which 12% were earmarked for project implementation in 2007 - thus the real level of funding was 63%). However, the constant uncertainty about how much funding will be available also meant that the implementation of the various activities in the different programmes could only start when it was apparent that a minimum of funding was available to cover the associated expenses. This meant that a significant level of programme implementation could only be started during the second half of the year. Nevertheless, working within the framework of these severe limitations, it can be said that the Federation Kosovo Office successfully implemented those activities which had a sufficient level of funding.
Goal: The strategic goal as set out in the Kosovo strategic priorities document developed in 2006 is to strengthen the local RC in a context of change to achieve the highest possible degree of self-sufficient sustainability in terms of organizational functioning and in the provision of quality services to the most vulnerable.
Needs: The Kosovo budget is part of the Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo Appeal, which is CHF 5,863,653 (USD 4,847,875 or EUR 3,572,005) for 2006-2007. The total 2006-2007 budget for Kosovo is CHF 1,782,083 (USD 1,473,330 or EUR 1,085,850) (out of which 37% is covered).
Kosovo has been under direct UN Administration since the 1999 conflict although it is still formally part of Serbia. Despite large investments from the international community in the past eight years, it continues to face a vicious cycle of low growth, significant trade imbalance and fiscal constraints. High unemployment and increasing poverty remain major issues of concern and affect more than half of the population. Combined with weak governmental institutions which are not in a position to even cover the basic needs in the sectors of health, social welfare and employment, this has resulted in an extremely high degree of structural socioeconomic vulnerability of the population. Among the groups which are disproportionately affected by this situation are children, the elderly, female-headed households, the disabled and non-Serb ethnic minorities.
There is a general agreement among the members of the international community that the economic and social stagnation in Kosovo is to a large extend linked to the current lack of a permanent political status. As the UN Administration has always been perceived to be a temporary measure, a process to define the final status of Kosovo was started in February 2006. Unfortunately the political situation and related developments in Kosovo have been dominated by the status process to such an extend that little or no progress was made on other important issues and thus there has been no improvement of the critical situation in the sectors of health, social welfare, economics, etc. Consequently the two local RC structures in Kosovo, the Red Cross of Kosova (RCK) and the Red Cross of Kosovo and Metohija (RCKM), were - and still are - required to continue playing an increasingly important role in the assistance to the most vulnerable.
However, while the local RC organizations still struggle to maintain their own operational capacity to implement programmes and assist the most vulnerable, they are at the same time challenged to change their organisational structures and systems to adapt to the new realities created by the process of transformation from socialism to economic and democratic liberalism and the effects this has had on the economic, political and social systems. To undergo such a process of change and at the same time continue providing critical services to an increasing number of most vulnerable people is a huge challenge. Thus there is a continued need to provide a stable level of support to the local RC structures in Kosovo and ensure that they can fulfil their humanitarian mandate while at the same time progressing towards becoming one modern and well-functioning RC organisation.
For further information please contact:
Gunther Pratz, Head of Office in Kosovo; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone+ 381 38 228 400; Fax: +381 38 228 599
Erja Reinikainen, Regional Officer, Europe Department, Federation Secretariat; email: email@example.com; Telephone ++41 22 730 43 19; Fax: +41 22 733 03 95
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