OFFICE OF THE
UNITED NATIONS HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR
1000 Skopje, fYR of Macedonia
15 May 2002
UN APPEALS FOR URGENT FUNDS TO CONSOLIDATE PEACE IN
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPBULIC OF MACEDONIA
Skopje – The United Nations appealed today for urgent contributions for humanitarian and rehabilitation activities, to tackle the remaining obstacles to return and move communities past the current fragile peace.
“The crisis is not entirely over, and return is not yet fully sustainable,” the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in fYROM, Mr. Amin Awad, said. “More than 20,000 people are still waiting to go home and those who have returned need concrete support to assist them in rebuilding fractured communities.”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported earlier this month that continued international support is needed to build on the significant progress that has been made since the conflict ended and a peace accord was agreed last August. The report emphasized however, that if people are unable to go home for fear of mines or lack of shelter, or have no way of providing for their families once they have return, there is a risk that growing frustrations could reverse positive return and stabilization trends.
UN agencies have launched humanitarian programs to repair homes, rehabilitate schools and clinics and revive farmlands, but funds are needed for priority humanitarian and rehabilitation activities to continue through the second half of this year. The requirements include USD 14.5 million to rebuild 900 destroyed homes, USD 2.9 million to deploy 12 additional de-mining teams and USD 23.5 million to support UN humanitarian projects in the areas of agriculture, health, education, protection, infrastructure repair and economic recovery.
“Funds are needed now to capitalize on the spring and summer conditions needed for clearance of unexploded ordnance and mines and housing reconstruction so that people can return home before winter.” Awad said. “Community projects must also be supported so that people begin to see improvements in their daily situation and feel confident that peace can indeed be sustained.”
Last year’s armed conflict in fYROM between the government and ethnic Albanian rebel forces ended with the signing of a Framework Agreement in August. Mediated by high-level officials from the United States, the European Union and NATO, the agreement provided for enhanced minority rights and support for the timely return of the 170,000 refugees and displaced persons. Some 150,000 persons have returned since August 2001.