GOVERNMENT GRANTS £ 400,000 TO UNHCR TO HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS IN KOSOVO
Ms Liz O'Donnell, T.D., Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for Development Cooperation, today announced an immediate grant of £400,000 to the UNHCR to meet emergency humanitarian needs of refugees fleeing from Kosovo.
"I met the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Mrs Ogata, in Geneva last week and discussed with her the growing crisis in Kosovo. This is a major humanitarian disaster and we have a moral imperative to respond generously. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported dramatic increases in the numbers of refugees crossing the border into Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia in recent days. Ireland is the 10th largest contributor in per capita terms to the UNHCR, " the Minister added, "and this new grant will go towards meeting basic needs of, in particular, women and children who are suffering."
"According to the UNHCR, over half a million people in Kosovo, or a quarter of the population, have been displaced from their homes since the beginning of the conflict. There are over 100,000 refugees in the region in desperate need of food and shelter. We will continue to monitor the situation and maintain close contact with the UNHCR and the Red Cross and others to assess future needs."