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Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo (Focus on Kosovo): Appeal No. MAACS001 Final Report 2006-2007

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This report covers the period of 01/01/2006 to 31/12/2007 of a two-year planning and appeal process.

In brief

Programme summary: In 2006 and 2007 the International Federation of Red Cross and RedCrescent Societies together with the Red Cross units of Kosovo achieved many of the planned objectives and initiated a number of long-term development issues, despite an invariable lack of funding. A high programme implementation rate of 89 per cent (expenses versus funding) shows that within the financial framework available, a maximum level of support was provided to the local Red Cross units and significant progress in achieving the humanitarian goals was attained.

The Family Health Education (FHE) project supported both Red Cross units to further develop their already strong networks of trained health instructors to reach vulnerable people, especially women, in rural areas. The social welfare programme targeted two groups, namely unemployed youth and single female-headed households, in order to improve their socio-economic well-being. Two emergency operations in response to flooding were conducted, one in 2006 and one in 2007, with a total combined budget of 254,847 Swiss francs which was fully funded from the International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).

Goal: The strategic goal of the International Federation in Kosovo, as set out in the Kosovo strategic priority document developed in 2006, is to strengthen the local Red Cross in a context of change to achieve the highest possible degree of self-sufficient sustainability in terms of organizational functioning and in the provision of quality services to the most vulnerable.

Needs: Total 2006-2007 budget for Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo was 5,889,059 Swiss francs (USD 5,267,495 or EUR 3,569,127) (out of which 107 per cent covered). The overall 2006-2007 appeal budget for the International Federation's Kosovo Office was 1,807,490 Swiss francs. The total income was 1,121,366 Swiss francs or 70 per cent of the total budget. Click here to go directly to the attached financial reports: Report 2006; Report 2007; and Report 2006-2007.

The main donors were the Swedish, the Norwegian, the American, the British, the Finnish and the German Red Cross Societies, and the Norwegian government.

No. of people we help: In total, 13,693 people benefited directly from the International Federation programme support provided to the local Red Cross units in Kosovo in 2006 and 2007.

Programme
Target beneficiaries
No. of people
we helped 2006
No. of people we
helped 2007
Organizational Development Red Cross staff, Red Cross volunteers
84
120
Youth Development Red Cross volunteers, youth
230
455
Health and Care women in rural areas, youth
4,400
2,213
Social Welfare single female-headed households, youth,


elderly without family support

490
336
Disaster Management Red Cross staff, Red Cross volunteers
86
155
Emergency Relief Operations Flooding in 2006 and 2007
1,624
3,500

However, it is important to mention that the priority of the International Federation in Kosovo is to support the local Red Cross units to continuously develop their capacities and be able to fulfil their humanitarian mandate and assist the most vulnerable.

Our Partners: The International Federation Office in Kosovo works, and/or coordinates, with a total number of 46 communitybased, local, governmentbased, non-government-based, international, United Nations and other development organizations and agencies as well as partners within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

Current context

Despite large investments from the international community in the past nine years that Kosovo has been under direct United Nations administration following the 1999 conflict it continues to face a vicious cycle of low growth, significant trade imbalance and fiscal constraints. High unemployment and increasing poverty remain major issues of concern and affect more than half of the population. Combined with weak governmental institutions which are not in a position to cover the basic needs in the health, social welfare and employment sectors, this has resulted in an extremely high degree of structural socio-economic vulnerability of the population. To give only a few indicators: according to UNDP Second Millennium Development Goals Report for Kosovo of 2007, Kosovo is one of the poorest societies in the Western Balkans with 44 per cent of the population living in poverty and a further 14 per cent living in extreme poverty; only a small percentage of the resident population is receiving the very limited social assistance benefits that are available and many more vulnerable families are not eligible for such assistance due to highly restrictive criteria; infant mortality is up to ten times higher than the European Union average.

There is a general agreement among the members of the international community that the economic and social stagnation in Kosovo is to a large extent linked to the current lack of a permanent political status (1). As the UN Administration has always been perceived to be a temporary measure, a process to define the final status of Kosovo was started in February 2006 and has not yet been completed. Unfortunately, the political situation and the related developments in Kosovo have been dominated by the status process to such an extent that little or no progress has been made on important internal issues and thus there has been no improvement of the critical situation in the sectors of health, social welfare, economics and education. In 2007 the vulnerability of the population in Kosovo increased further due to a significant rise in the prices for basic commodities such as bread and cereals, cooking oils and fat and vegetables. Consequently, the Red Cross units in Kosovo were - and still are - requiredto play an increasingly important role in assisting the most vulnerable.

Despite the increasing demands for humanitarian support and the challenges of all Red Cross structures working in Kosovo to find sufficient funding, the local Red Cross units, with the support of the International Federation and other partners, managed to increase their level of services to the vulnerable population in comparison to previous years while at the same time significantly enhancing their operational and organizational capacity. Nevertheless, there exists a continuing need for support to the local Red Cross units, assisting them in increasing the level of quality support to more vulnerable people while at the same time progressing towards becoming one modern and well-functioning Red Cross organization supporting a multi-ethnic society.

Notes:

(1) On 17 February 2008 a specially convened extraordinary meeting of the Kosovo assembly unilaterally declared the province's independence from Serbia. A number of countries immediately or subsequently recognized Kosovo as a state, but others have not done so.

Contact Information

For further information on this Appeal, please contact:

Central Asia Regional Representation: Drina Karahasanovic, Regional Representative, Almaty,

phone: +7727 291 41 56; fax: +7727 291 42 67; email: drina.karahasanovic@ifrc.org

Europe Zone Office: Leon Prop, Deputy Head, Budapest, phone: +361 248 33 00; fax: +361 248 3322; email: leon.prop@ifrc.org