Accessed 13 May 1999
Fact Sheet #50
May 13, 1999
|U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID)
BUREAU FOR HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE (BHR)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kosovo
||Entries in last 24 hrs
||Departures in last 24 hrs
*All numbers are estimates from UNHCR Headquarters.
These numbers are constantly changing and being verified.
- UNHCR headquarters estimates that there are 431,100 refugees in Albania. On May 12,
approximately 4,000 refugees crossed into Albania from Kosovo at the Morini border
crossing, and about 100 entered Albania from Montenegro on May 11.
- UNHCR reports that many of the newly arrived refugees were from villages in the Urosevac
region and had been in the hills and mountains for several weeks.
- The Government of Albania (GOA), Emergency Management Group (EMG) reports that 5,475
refugees have been transferred from the Kukės area over the last 24 hours. The cumulative
number of refugees transferred out of Kukės now totals 348,000.
- The Government of Albania (GOA) and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE) report Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) incursions into Albania near the
villages of Padesh and Kamenice in Tropojė District on May 11. However, the press reports
that the fighting has waned since its peak on Tuesday, May 11.
- The Greek-Albanian border crossing point at Kakavija has been closed since May 10 due to
insecurity. Armed bandits have established roadblocks at a junction in Lazarat,
Cjirokastra Prefecture. Ten trucks carrying relief supplies were unable to enter Albania
- Security at the Morini border crossing has improved with the posting of GOA Special
Police to the area.
- The GOA Prefects continue to report difficulties in refugee camp site identification,
and recommend that existing buildings be rehabilitated to house refugees. The GOA says
that refurbished structures can be a residual benefit to the nation after the refugee
- The World Food Program (WFP) reports it has the food resources to meet the basic needs
of all refugees in refugee camps and collective centers, as well as those who are newly
arrived or in transit.
- The Red Cross in Albania reports signs of "host family fatigue", and indicates
that refugees are attempting to pay for entry to camps. In this week's non-governmental
organization (NGO) and UNHCR information meeting, the Red Cross reported that 113,000
refugees in host families had received food assistance since mid-April. There are
currently estimated to be more than 290,000 refugees in host families.
- UNHCR headquarters estimates that there are currently 234,000 refugees in Macedonia, 71
of whom entered over the last 24 hours from Kosovo. 2,484 refugees were transferred by air
to third countries on May 12. UNHCR reports that 84,100 refugees are living in camps and
transit centers and 120,432 refugees are living with host families (registered by the
Macedonian Red Cross). UNHCR estimates that 30,000 unregistered refugees are living
elsewhere in Macedonia (this number includes an estimated 4,900 refugees living in border
- On May 10, the first 166 refugees were voluntarily transported under UNHCR's
Humanitarian Transfer Program (HTP). The HTP will provide transportation for refugees in
Macedonia who wish to relocate to camps in Albania.
- On May 11, a train from Kosovo carrying 20 refugees arrived at the border around 10:00
am, but Yugoslav authorities only allowed seven refugees with Yugoslav travel documents to
cross into Macedonia. The others were turned back by the Yugoslav authorities, according
to UNHCR and OSCE.
- The Government of Macedonia (GOM) has begun expanding the Blace Reception Center. In
response, a group of NGOs has submitted a letter of protest to UNHCR. The NGOs claim that
the site is not appropriate for a refugee camp, both because of its proximity to the
Serbian border but also because it is located in a potential landslide area. NGOs working
at the center have stated their intention to disassociate themselves from work in the
area. UNHCR has not yet responded to the letter, but has told the USAID Disaster
Assistance Response Team (DART) that they were not consulted before construction began.
- The DART expressed concern that official registration figures in the municipality of
Kumanovo are not accurate. Official Macedonian Red Cross figures show 6,556 humanitarian
assisted persons living in the municipality. However, a local humanitarian organization
reported that they have registered more than 20,000 people for assistance, and they
estimate approximately 25,000 refugees live in Kumanovo. According to the DART, the
discrepancy exists because until now the GOM has denied official humanitarian assistance
status to refugees from Serbia outside Kosovo. The GOM has now begun the process of
recognizing these refugees.
- At the Neprosteno Camp, International Rescue Committee (IRC) has identified two hectares
of land that could allow the camp to be expanded to accommodate another 2,000 refugees in
addition the current 7,500. Approval for the expansion remains dependent on agreement
between IRC, the GOM, and UNHCR.
- WFP reports that it is currently producing 40,000 loaves of bread a day for the refugee
- The Red Cross reports using a planning figure for May distributions to refugees in host
families of 143,300. These refugees will receive a standard ration of 12 kg wheat flour, 1
kg beans, 1 liter of vegetable oil, and 1 kg sugar.
- The fourth "Provide Refuge" flight with 481 refugees arrived at McGuire Air
Force Base on May 12. The fifth flight is scheduled to arrive with another 450 refugees on
May 13. Personnel at Fort Dix continue to conduct in-processing activities. Fort Dix will
expand its capacity to process refugees from 3,000 to 4,200 by May 21.
||NUMBER OF REFUGEES (as of 6:00 a.m. GMT on
|Blace Reception Center
- The GOM has begun expanding the site to accommodate up to 9,000 people.
|Radusa Collective Center
- NATO has erected 780 tents.
|UNHCR Humanitarian Evacuations
(beginning April 6 to date)
||# of Refugees
** Some refugees were moved to third countries by the GOM w/o UNHCR/IOM
involvement: 10,000 to Albania, 5,500 to Greece, 2,243 to Turkey, and 88 to Croatia. (Source:
- UNHCR headquarters estimates that there are 64,300 refugees in Montenegro. Approximately
100 refugees departed for Albania on May 11.
USG Humanitarian Assistance:
- To date the USG has provided over $188 million in response to the Kosovo crisis,
beginning in March 1998.
|The Background and Public Donation Information sections
of this Factsheet are provided as a courtesy to the reader and have not changed
substantially since the previous Factsheet. All new information is underlined/highlighted
- In late February 1998, following an unprecedented series of clashes in Kosovo between
Serbian police forces and members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), Serbian police
raided villages in Kosovo's Drenica region, a KLA stronghold. The police reportedly burned
homes and killed dozens of ethnic Albanians in these raids. Thousands of ethnic Albanians
in Pristina protested Serb police actions, and were subsequently attacked by the police
with tear gas, water cannons, and clubs.
- As a result of the fighting, thousands of Kosovar Albanians were displaced from their
homes, many taking refuge with host families, while a smaller proportion (several
thousand) took to the hills and forests.
Public Donation Information:
- In the interest of effective coordination of such public response, we encourage
concerned citizens to provide monetary donations to appropriate organizations. USAID
encourages the public to contact directly those private voluntary organizations (PVOs)
currently working in the region to provide monetary donations. A list of those PVOs may be
obtained from the USAID website at http://www.info.usaid.gov/.
The list is composed of PVOs that are registered with USAID and/or listed by InterAction,
a coalition of voluntary humanitarian and development organizations that work overseas;
InterAction can be contacted at 1-818-502-4288, or via the Internet at http://www.interaction.org/. Those interested in
providing specific technical relief services or commodities should contact Volunteers in Technical Assistance's (VITA) Disaster
Information Center for information and guidelines (703) 276-1914.
- For more information, please contact the public donations hotline at 1-800-USAID-RELIEF,
which is staffed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On May 12, 185 calls were
made to the public donation hotline. Since April 6, a total of 47,905 calls have been
received by the hotline.
- Past USAID/OFDA Factsheets can be obtained from the USAID web site at the following URL: