Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Tuesday, July 27, 1999 Published at 10:10 GMT 11:10 UK

World: Europe

Kosovo 'needs urgent shelter'

More houses have been burnt down since refugees began returning

United Nations agencies in the Balkans are appealing for more than $400m in emergency aid to fund their humanitarian efforts in the region until the end of the year.

Kosovo: Special Report
Twelve agencies are asking for a total of $434m. They say without the money their work to protect Serbs from attack and remove mines from Kosovo will be jeopardised.

Senior European Commission official, Roy Dickinson, said that 75,000 homes - around a quarter of all those in Kosovo - had been destroyed or were impossible to repair.

"We want to make sure there is no humanitarian crisis this winter," he said.

He said the problem had been compounded by the fact that some 800,000 people who fled the province during the conflict have now returned, and are living either with relatives, in homes which do not belong to them, or in tents.

[ image: Many Kosovo Albanian homes were destroyed by the Serbs]
Many Kosovo Albanian homes were destroyed by the Serbs
Hundreds of schools and medical centres also need rebuilding and repairing.

Despite the destruction, however, the World Bank (WB) has lowered its post-war estimate of the cost of reconstruction, down to about $1.23bn.

"The damage generally comes out at the lower end of what people have estimated," said Rory O'Sullivan, a regional WB official.

The BBC's Rob Watson: The US is to give $500m for reconstruction in Kosovo
A big meeting of more than 100 donor nations, NGOs and UN officials will be held in Brussels on Wednesday - in advance of a "Balkan aid summit" in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, on Friday.

The United States has announced that it will give up to $500m in humanitarian aid to Kosovo.

At the same time, the Red Cross has launched an appeal for $80m to help Kosovo refugees and homeless people in the coming weeks.

Call for Danube funding

As donor countries prepare for the Brussels conference, there have been calls for funding to rebuild the bridges along the Danube in Serbia.

[ image: Nato targetted the bridges along the Danube]
Nato targetted the bridges along the Danube
A team of experts from countries that use the Danube for trade and transport has said that it will cost more than $90m to re-open the river and repair all the bridges that were hit during the Nato air campaign.

The Serbian newspaper, Politika, said the experts from the 11-nation Danube Commission were ending a four-day fact-finding visit to Yugoslavia.

They said clearing the river of debris could take up to six months, and repairing and rebuilding bridges would require up to three years.

The Commission is expected to approach the European Union and the World Bank to help fund the project.

Fear and anger in Gracko

Meanwhile, investigators in Kosovo have released the bodies of two of the victims of Friday's massacre, in which 14 Serb farmers were shot dead near the village of Gracko.

Clarence Mitchell: "Refugee families are starting to return home"
The funeral was due to take place on Monday, but was delayed because the autopsies had not been completed.

BBC correspondent Nick Childs says the atmosphere in the village was sombre, as military police conducted further house-to-house inquiries.

Serbs were confused and angry with K-For peacekeeping troops, who had failed to provide the Serb farmers with extra security until it was too late.

The farmers were ambushed and shot dead as they returned from an evening harvesting hay, in the worst single incident since K-For moved into the province and Yugoslav forces pulled out..

The families of the victims were told only on Monday morning that they could not bury their dead as planned.

A memorial service being organised by the UN administration here was also abandoned.

K-For insists it is doing all it can to find those behind the killings, and will provide adequate security for the funeral when it does take place. But it is still unclear when that will be.

The Yugoslav President, Slobodan Milosevic, said that K-For and the UN mission in Kosovo were "fully and exclusively responsible" for the massacre.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

27 Jul 99 | Europe
Bank lowers bill for Kosovo reconstruction

26 Jul 99 | Europe
Can K-For control Kosovo?

26 Jul 99 | UK
Refugees fly home to Kosovo

25 Jul 99 | UK
Serbs just missed army protection

24 Jul 99 | Europe
Serb farmers gunned down

25 Jul 99 | Europe
Anti-Milosevic protests grow

24 Jul 99 | Europe
Serbs return to the streets

22 Jul 99 | Kosovo
Living with fear in Pristina

20 Jul 99 | Europe
Serb exodus warning

18 Jul 99 | Europe
Army warns Yugoslav opposition

17 Jul 99 | Europe
Kosovo reprisals horrify UN

Internet Links

Serb Ministry of Information


UN in Kosovo

Kosovo Crisis Centre

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift