MCIC Situation report Macedonia no. 2/2001

for the period 11-24 June 2001, Skopje

Displaced people

Since the beginning of the crisis in Macedonia, 80,000 people have been displaced. According to the UNHCR, till now, there are 50,000 registered refugees from Macedonia in Kosovo. The number of refugees has still been increasing in the past few days, which is the result of the occupation of the village of Arachinovo by the militant extremist. The number of displaced people in Macedonia is more than 32,000.

Water problem


One of the good news this week was the opening of the Lake Lipkovo valves, an accumulation that supplies Kumanovo with pure water. The valves were opened on 17th June and the water is expected to be available in the city after ten days. Until then, the only water sources for the city are the cisterns. On 25th June the citizens of Kumanovo again obtained water from the city pipeline.


The situation with water supply of Tetovo is still the same. The reason for water reduces in Tetovo is the electricity shortage in Popova Sapka that caused problems with the four small hydropower plants and the pipeline. At present, the citizens of Tetovo have 200 litres per second available water, which covers only their minimum needs. Water restrictions have been made in order to provide water for the people in the higher parts of the city.

Other effects

Since 1 July till the end of the year, a new tax will be implemented that should help cover the budget deficit of 200 million dollars, caused by the crisis in the country. The International Monetary Fund has agreed with the Minister of Finance, Nikola Gruevski for the implementation of the, so called "war tax" at the rate of 0,5% on all financial transactions of the legal entities, transfers of the legal entities and the citizens, excluding the financial transactions of the citizens.

The exchange rate of the German Mark is still very high. The private exchange offices and banks are only buying, but not selling German Marks.

MCIC response

Ongoing activities

MCIC distributed humanitarian aid for the internally displaced people. Packages with food and hygiene products were distributed to 70 displaced families from Aracinovo in the Municipality of Ilinden. Each family obtained a blanket and a 25 kg bag with flour. MCIC also participated in the first distribution of humanitarian aid for Lipkovo. One truck of MCIC aid was part of larger convoy of humanitarian aid by different local NGO's.

Assessments of the emergency needs were done in the collective centres, or more precisely, student homes and public institutions, where around 800 displaced people are settled. Food and hygiene products, as well as equipment for socialization are needed in amount of 2 million denars (30,000 EURO) per month.

MCIC also assessed urgent water supply needs in Kumanovo that should result in securing water supply of the Medical Center in Kumanovo. This should provide a longer term and independent water source of the Medical Center with satisfying amounts of pure water. By doing this, the Medical Center can operate normally in certain crisis in the future and will gain additional water for the patients and the local population. This assistance is important because it will supply the Center for Dialysis with drinkable water, which is only one of that kind in the eastern part of Macedonia.

Concrete activities that should be done are building a draw-well and a pump station, completely with all necessary equipment, which will cost around 2 million denars (30,000 EURO).


On 22nd June, at president Trajkovski's office was held a meeting with several NGOs including MCIC, UNHCR, ICRC, Macedonian red cross (MRC) and the Ministry of labour and social policy. It was agreed to form a coordination body managed by the Ministry of labour and social policy and to accept the MRC identification cards as only valid document for distribution of assistance by all other NGO's.

On 22nd June a meeting of ACT was held in MCIC premises. It was concluded that MCIC should continue informing the partners for the actual situation and the possible needs of it; to update the contingency plan, and if it is considered necessary, in coordination with ACT and WCC, to issue an appeal.

Another coordinative meeting managed by UNICEF was held on 22nd June where MCIC was also present. Undertaken activities so far were resumed. ICRC together with MRC was assisting IDP's in host families with basic monthly food parcels.

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