Autumn 1998 more than 350,000 persons has been displaced both within the
province and externally. In
late October 1998, the UN Security Council's Special Resolution 1199
demanded the withdrawal of security forces from Kosovo and that withdrawal
began in late October. However,
by December, the ceasefire was collapsing and the violence and
displacement intensified following the failure of the Rambouillet
was at this point in Autumn 1998 that WomenAid first began highlighting
the growing crisis and launched Operation
Provide Warmth an Appeal for funds, aid, clothing, and hygienic items
for delivery to the refugees. However WomenAid found there was an
unwillingness to acknowledge the fact that
Europe was once again witnessing ethnic cleansing
- although the British
public later responded generously to the subsequent Disaster Emergencies
Committee (DEC) joint appeal on behalf of the larger agencies.
to the generous support of companies, individuals and dedicated
volunteers, WomenAid was 'on the spot' and able to provide urgently needed assistance to
desperate refugee families during the first days of the massive influx of
refugees into Albania. In
partnership with the Albanian Womens' Federation, WomenAid provided aid to
the traumatised refugees.
AFTERMATH: PICKING UP THE PIECES
world's memory will never erase the sight of tens of thousands of fleeing
Kosovars corralled at Blace, an open field at a border crossing into the
former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia.
the assistance required is different. The
key question is how to assist the re-integration of a shattered society.
Once again thousands are racing against time to secure adequate
shelter against the harsh Balkan winter and once again there is an amazing
demonstration of resilience and strength of purpose of refugees as they
rebuild their lives.
is crippled by the effects of the bombing campaign and is virtually an
international pariah state . The
political situation in both Macedonia and Montenegro remains fragile.
Albania remains the poorest country in Europe.
to Milosevic's policies there are no more Serbs in Krajina (Croatia),
there are no more Serbs in Slavonia, there are no more Serbs in western
Bosnia and Serbia has received about 600,000 refugees who are not being
well cared for."
Orthodox Bishop Artemiji of Kosovo,
condemning the policies of Belgrade in the last few years.