www.solidarites.org

Albania

From 1998 to 2001

Context

The Kosovo War, fought across the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between March 1998 and June 1999, caused thousands of civilians to flee to Albania.

We sent our teams to the Albanian transit camps to provide these people with aid. After the war ended, and once the Kosovar refugees had returned to their native country, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL assisted the Albanians by implementing a large number of rehabilitation projects, input that lasted until 2001.

Our action

Between April and June 1999, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL provided emergency assistance for Kosovar refugees who had fled to Albania. 13 tonnes of basic necessities (food and clothing) and aid parcels for children were distributed at the Kukës transit camp and at refugee sites around Fier, Berat and Vlorë. Mobile kitchens served 14,000 meals every day. Once the Kosovar refugees had left, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL teams continued their activities. They focused on the rehabilitation of 14 schools in Fier and Berat provinces, cleaned 150 public wells and installed a water supply network which provided drinking water for 4,000 people in six villages in the Kozare municipality.

 

Quotes from our archives:

Place names cannot conjure up what life is like in the camps, or how bored and distressed the refugees are as they wait impatiently. Nor can they describe sharing tea in a tent, or the beautiful faces of mothers during a distribution of cuddly toys for toddlers, or the life of Zazel, who is now head of his family at just 12 years old. Then, at last, comes the excitement of leaving, of returning home, embarking on another journey, but this time with a smile on their faces. Teams of aid workers are there to help, and these men and women are all fired up with the urgent daily challenge of distributing one month’s food to all the children returning to Kosovo…

Arnaud, former Field Officer in Albania for SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL

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