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FYR of Macedonia: UNHCR begins shelter materials deliveries

Briefing notes

FYR of Macedonia: UNHCR begins shelter materials deliveries

26 October 2001

As security conditions continued to improve in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, UNHCR this week began delivering shelter materials for the repair of 1,400 houses damaged during the six-month ethnic Albanian insurgency. Eleven trucks delivered the materials at Lipkovo, Vaksince, Radusa and Aracinovo villages - 10 to 40 km north-west of Skopje - at the start of UNHCR's $1.3 million emergency shelter repair programme. Other agencies have a similar programme for another 4,000 houses. The materials include doors, windows, ceramic blocks, tiles, glass, timber battens and planks and cement. They will be used in repairing houses with minor damage described as category one and two under a classification system based on UNHCR's previous shelter rehabilitation programmes in Kosovo, Bosnia and Croatia. Rebuilding of severely damaged houses - category three and four - will be undertaken by the European Union. UNHCR had earlier distributed plastic sheeting and tools for urgent use of returnees in a number of villages.

Meanwhile, UNHCR opened a sixth bus line in the country - from Radusa village to Skopje 25 km to the south - under a programme to promote freedom of movement across ethnic lines and security checkpoints. The programme is part of UNHCR's efforts to help build confidence in the peace process and allow the return of refugees and internally displaced people. Around 60,000 refugees have returned to the country, but some 16,000 others are estimated to remain in Kosovo. The [former Yugoslav Republic of] Macedonian Red Cross also says there are 53,000 IDPs in the country.