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Balkans Task Force (BTF)
Situation Report No. 15

UNCHS (Habitat)

Thursday,   29 July 1999
  • Two of the three BTF expert teams left the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). A third BTF team is staying in Pristina and working closely with the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

  • The Sarajevo G-8 summit on 30 July is expected to ask the Commission and World Bank to oversee the wider job of stabilising the Balkans by linking those countries' economies more closely to the West.

  • More than 100 nations and international organizations met to discuss reconstruction of Kosovo in Brussels on 28 July. The World Bank and the European Commission jointly sponsored the meeting. The conference focused on the priority humanitarian needs for the UNMIK administration trust fund. Donor nations pledged a total of more than two billion dollars to rebuild Kosovo, including at least 245 million dollars in emergency funds over the next five months to see returning refugees through the winter. A major conference on ministerial level was scheduled for October after more complete damage assessments are done.

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Societies appealed on 26 July for a further 120 million Swiss francs (76.5 million US dollars) to meet the needs of thousands of people in the Balkans.

  • The head of the United Nations mission in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, met in Prizren on 23 July with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who pledged another 100 police in addition to some 200 his country has already committed to the UN operation.

  • The European Parliament stiffened its vow not to help reconstruct Serbia while Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic remains in office, by passing on 22 July a resolution promising support for his opponents.

  • According to UNHCR, more than 734’000 refugees have returned to Kosovo since the cessation of hostilities. By 28 July more than 173,000 people, most of them Serbs, have fled Kosovo and settled in Serbia or Montenegro since the NATO-led peace force arrived in the province last month.

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