January 28 - February 3, 2002
SKOPJE, February 4th, 2002
No changes in the number of refugees who return from Kosovo. According to information from the UNHCR, there are 12,000 refugees-ethnic Albanians accommodated in Kosovo. So far, approximately 64,000 have returned to Macedonia.
The International Committee of the Red Cross during January distributed food aid to those IDPs accommodated in collective centres as well as to approximately 4,800 micro-displaced persons in Skopje and Tetovo. The ICRC food package contains 12 kilograms of flour, one kg of beans, 1 kg of sugar, 1 kg of rise, 1 litre of eatable oil, 0,25 kg of salt, 1 kg of macaroni, 0.1 kg of yeast and 0,25 kg of sardines.
The AAH distributed food for approximately 14,700 needy residents of villages in the conflict-affected areas.
The Intersos distributed assistance for 13,500 IDPs accommodated in host-families. The food packages contain 20 kg of flour, 2 kg or rise, 2 kg of sugar, 2 litres of vegetable oil and 2 kg of macaroni.
On January 28, El Hilal distributed 10 tons of food for the Lipkovo municipality. The same organization distributed additional 10 tons in Slupcane on January 31.
The Committee for repairs and reconstruction is preparing the draft-procedures for reconstruction of the houses that suffered damage from third and fourth category. According to the latest information from the UNHCR about the completed repairs on the houses that suffered damage from first and second category, the UNHCR has completed 100% of its tasks, the German Government has completed 64%, USAID/PRM - 76%, and the Danish government - 100%.
The Mesecina organization, in cooperation with the European Perspective from Greece, distributed sanitary materials for 20 families that accommodated displaced persons.
James Holmes, Special advisor to the U.S. President for the Southeast Europe, paid a visit to Tetovo where he met with the city mayor Murtezan Ismaili. During his stay, Holmes donated assistance worth US $83,000 from the US Agency for International Development. At the moment, the project for digging new wells in the city is ongoing. Water restrictions in the city last for 12 hours a day. With the project for construction of new wells, the city will be provided with two additional pups that will use underground waters.
The European Agency for Reconstruction joined in the reconstruction of the electricity network in several regions. €10,5 million have been provided for this purpose. The EAC signed agreements with Macedonian Electricity Company and the Italian "ENEL", which is in charge of controlling the entire process. In the framework of this project, the electricity network in Tetovo was completely repaired, and 80% of the households in Aracinovo have been provided with electricity.
The ACTED is distributing corn beans and soya flour in Tetovo, Gostivar and Mavrovo regions. The project includes all owners of domestic animals. There are approximately 13,000 users in Tetovo and Gostivar regions. In Tetovo, every user receives 200 kg of corn beans and 20 kg of soya flour.
Schools and education
Regarding the rehabilitation of the schools in the crisis regions, repairs have been carried out in 36 school buildings. 35 schools are being repaired.
The UNICEF started the second phase of distribution of school sets. The project includes 92 schools in the regions impacted by the crisis, as well as schools that received large number of students - IDPs.
The family center in Kumanovo is closed, however the psychosocial centers in Skopje - Suto Orizari and in Tetovo remain open. The SOS line for psychosocial support is still functional.
At the meeting of the Ministers' Council in Brussels, the World Bank and the European Union set up the time for organizing donors' conference for Macedonia. The Donors' conference will take place on March 12 in Brussels. Euro-commissioner of Foreign Policy Chris Patten reported that Macedonia fulfilled the three conditions necessary for organizing donors' conference. At the Conference Macedonia will ask for US $173 million, while according to unofficial sources the donors are ready to provide US $90 million.
In the next few months, the European Reconstruction Agency will invest €4,5 million for reconstruction of approximately 800 houses in the regions impacted by the crisis. For realization of the project, the EAR engaged the foreign non-governmental organizations Movimondo, Children Aid Direct and the Greek NGO European Perspectives. The German PROMPT will control the construction materials in order specified standards to be observed. The PROMPT will also control the building activities.
17th meeting of the NGO humanitarian coordination. The meeting was presided by the SAZM representative. The organizations reported on their activities, pointing out that the intensity of activities has decreased. Currently, plans for the forthcoming period are being developed. A representative of the International Council of NGOs was also present at the meeting, who reported that in February the international organizations would organize a donors' conference.
Ahmet Jasarevski from DROM said that one of the largest problems in Kumanovo is the still unresolved case with the high school students (Albanians), whose education is taking place in the elementary schools. Bajram Sulejmani from Natura noted that even besides the successful normalization of the situation in the Lipkovo region, the social gap among the citizens continues to grow. The need from essential products is increasing, while the distribution of food to the region has been lowered.
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