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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 13

UNCHS (Habitat)(1575 octets)

Thursday,   15 July 1999
Overview
  • German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Bernard Kouchner, the new UN civilian chief for Kosovo, met in Bonn on 13 July to discuss the international community's efforts to stabilise and reconstruct Kosovo, and the German contribution to the UN civil mission there.

  • The United States pledged on 13 July to support the economy of Montenegro. U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said Washington would be in favor of sending economic aid to Montenegro, which has become increasingly vocal in its calls for more independence in a reformed federation. 1

  • Damage from the war in Kosovo is less dramatic than feared, but the process of rebuilding the province must proceed quickly, said G7 finance ministers and international financial officials attending talks on aid to Kosovo, who agreed on an action plan to rebuild Kosovo and repair the battered economies of neighbouring countries on 13 July in Brussels. Commissioner Yves Thibault de Silguy said that humanitarian assistance will continue, but in the long-term it will not be possible to go on if the political regime continues in Belgrade.2 The first conference of donor countries for Kosovo will meet in Brussels on 28 July, as reported in the last situation report.

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) led a survey of the destruction inside Kosovo has found staggering levels of damage to housing, widespread food shortages and contamination of water resources, and a dire lack of health facilities. The results were released on 8 July.

  • The president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC), Dr. Astrid N. Heiberg, warned on 8 July the world must not lose sight of the enormous humanitarian needs in Serbia and Montenegro.

  • The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) issued on 7 July reports on the impact of the Balkans crisis on Albania and FYROM, based on a survey in mid-June. There was no evidence of food shortages as international agencies and NGOs have been importing most of the relief goods and emergency supplies. However, the crisis has undoubtedly aggravated the general economic instability already being experienced by those countries, and the

 

1. Reuters, Brussels, 7/13/99.
2. AFP, Brussels, 7/13/99.
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