Archived page: may contain outdated information!

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: ICRC continues aid

04-10-2001 News Release 01/39

In the month of September alone, over 100,000 people in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia received relief supplies from the ICRC. Consisting of food parcels, wheat flour (bought from local Macedonian suppliers), and hygiene and baby parcels, the aid was aimed at helping both internally displaced persons and resident civilians in isolated villages where supply lines remained disrupted. The displaced population is currently almost equally divided between ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians. The ICRC is committed to continuing its assistance to all people still suffering from the direct effects of the conflict according to its independent assessment of their needs.

The organization is particularly concerned by persistent problems in villages directly affected by the fighting. Many civilians from both communities are still afraid to move from place to place, and essential items such as food, medicines, and salary and pension payments are still having difficulties reaching them. Because of such problems, delegates are this week carrying out a relief distribution to some 300 families in the villages of Semsevo, Rataj and Zilce.

The ICRC has maintained a daily presence in the crisis regions in order to be able to respond quickly to emerging needs and also to exert a reassuring influence on people living in fear. This is especially important for the small number of elderly ethnic Macedonians living isolated in villages in the Tetovo area such as Lesok and Neprosteno, where the ICRC has been the only international organization to supply aid and provide the mobile phones that allow the villagers to keep in touch with relatives.