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Kosovo: Red Cross assists the wounded in latest flare-up of violence

24-03-2004 Feature

Present in the region for years, the ICRC is working with its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners to assist victims of the latest clashes and to provide emergency help to hospitals and clinics.


    ICRC has built up relations of trust with all communities in Kosovo©ICRC/ref: yu-d-00125h 
The ICRC and its partners in the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have stepped in to help take care of people wounded in the violence that erupted suddenly in the past few days. By 19 March almost 30 people had been killed and hundreds injured during clashes in Pristina, Mitrovica and other towns across the province.

The ICRC has expressed its concern over the consequences of this latest outbreak of violence on the civilian population. Attacks have taken place on religious sites and cultural centres, and tensions remain high.

A preliminary assessment at Pristina hospital, by the ICRC and the Spanish Red Cross, has found that all immediate needs for the injured admitted there are being met. The ICRC has dispatched 50 dressing sets for health centres in rural areas (each set provides 200 dressings).

The ICRC is also building up a food stock should needs arise; there are, however, no indications at present of any large-scale movement of people.

Local Red Cross units in Kosovo have provided first aid to the injured and assisted in transporting more serious cases to hospitals, mainly in Pristina and Mitrovica. The Red Cross has also launched an appeal for blood donors, and is paying special attention to the possible needs of the various minority groups particularly at risk.

The Spanish Red Cross has already covered an urgent need of four local ambulance services by providing them with pre-hospital emergency kits and rescue materials.

The ICRC and its partners are following developments and will intervene further as necessary. In its dialogue with the authorities, the ICRC is requesting information on people who might have been arrested during the latest events.

 Ongoing programmes in Kosovo  


The International Federation is working closely with the local Red Cross to help strengthen their structures and working capacity.

The Spanish Red Cross runs programmes for street children and income-generating projects for displaced people in Prizren. They are also improving the emergency health system in the Pristina area. 

Swiss Red Cross is starting a new three-year project training on reproductive health issues for doctors in Kacanik and Viti. The Saudi Red Crescent is continuing its activities in a clinic at Pristina airport covering medical needs of both passengers and airport employees.

Present in the former Yugoslavia since the early 1990s, the ICRC remains active throughout Serbia and Montenegro, in particular to help families of missing people find out what happened t o their loved ones.