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UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - Regional Overview: Former Yugoslavia and Albania


UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - Regional Overview: Former Yugoslavia and Albania

1 December 1998

The Dayton Peace Accord (DPA) of December 1995 brought an end to the 1991-1995 conflict in the former Yugoslavia and raised hope for lasting peace and stability. In addition to United Nations Security Council resolution 716 of 1991, which gave UNHCR a "lead agency" role for coordinating the humanitarian relief agencies of the United Nations and its many partners, Annex 7 of the Dayton Agreement conferred upon the Office the specific duty to develop, in close consultation with asylum countries and the Parties, a repatriation plan that will allow for an early, peaceful, orderly and phased return of refugees and displaced persons to and within Bosnia and Herzegovina. The provisions of the Erdut Agreement covering Croatia also encourage UNHCR to find durable solutions for the problem of Croatian refugees as well as persons displaced within the country. Recent developments in the Kosovo province of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have illustrated the difficulty of pursuing durable solutions on a regional level in the context of new flows of refugees and displaced persons. For example, since March 1998, both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia have received refugees from Kosovo, while attempting to address the needs of returning refugees and displaced persons. The Kosovo crisis has obliged UNHCR and its partners to mount the most massive war-time relief operation in the Balkans since the end of the Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict, while simultaneously pursuing activities aimed at finding durable solutions for refugees and displaced persons and continuing with care and maintenance activities for the most vulnerable refugee populations, particularly in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Leading the Coordinated Effort to Assist the Uprooted

UNHCR continues to be the lead humanitarian agency in the region of the former Yugoslavia and remains responsible for the coordination of the relief efforts of United Nations, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners, to alleviate the hardship caused by the conflicts in the region and to foster a return to peaceful, stable, multi-ethnic communities envisaged under the Dayton and Erdut Agreements. Working under the supervision of the High Commissioner's Special Envoy for the Former Yugoslavia, UNHCR offices in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia coordinate relief and repatriation measures for the more than two million persons uprooted in the region and further afield in asylum countries. UNHCR's primary task is to help consolidate the post-war recovery process by facilitating the return, in safety and with dignity, of uprooted persons - both refugees from abroad and internally displaced persons - while also implementing measures to build local capacity aimed at protecting the rights of the uprooted. Within the framework of its preventive mandate, the agency also promotes national reconciliation and supports modest reconstruction efforts. In response to the Kosovo crisis, reconstruction efforts will be limited to preparing one room per family which can be heated for survival during the winter, leaving more ambitious reconstruction efforts to specialized entities and bilateral assistance.

Expanding the Scope of UNHCR's Activities

The year 1998 saw a rapid expansion of UNHCR's activities to meet new displacements caused by the conflict in Kosovo province. Relief programmes benefiting this group have been launched or expanded to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and will be pursued in 1999. At the same time, UNHCR has continued to focus on repatriation and return-related activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A number of protection-related issues linked to the search for durable solutions concern all countries in the region. For example, UNHCR is helping States draft and promulgate country-specific, regionally consistent legislation on issues such as citizenship (UNHCR is encouraging successor States in the region to help long-term residents or those with genuine links to obtain citizenship); property rights (to enable displaced persons and refugees to establish claims to real property or long-standing tenancy rights in their places of origin); pensions (UNHCR is helping establish a mechanism amongst successor States through which citizens of the former Yugoslavia can rightfully claim their pensions, social security rights and other benefits); and amnesty laws (to ensure they cover offenses such as desertion and draft evasion.) Special assistance and protection to meet the specific needs of refugee women and children is given prominent attention in all UNHCR's programmes.

All programmes under the Former Yugoslavia and Albania will also be presented in the 1999 United Nations Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Budget US$

The total budget, including costs at Headquarters, amounts to US$ 167,958,859.

CountryGeneral ProgrammesSpecial ProgrammesTotal
Bosnia and Herzegovina64,966,02664,966,026
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia190,00060,557,37760,747,377
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia826,5001,090,1111,916,611
Other Countries*137,900137,900

*Includes Austria and Germany.