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Internally-displaced facing bleak fate in Serbia and Montenegro


An ICRC study shows that close to 90 per cent of the internally-displaced people in Serbia and Montenegro, who fled after the conflict in Kosovo in 1999, live below the official poverty line. In financial terms, some 202,000 people have less than two-and-a-half Euros a day on which to survive.


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In March 2003 the ICRC began a five-month survey to assess the level of vulnerability of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kosovo residing in Serbia and Montenegro.

The assessment shows that 88.8% of the IDPs, or 202,300 people, have to survive on 2.40 euros per day or less. Or, to put it another way, only 11.2% of the 227,800 people who fled their homes in Kosovo more than four years ago have incomes placing them above the national poverty line. The ratio for the resident population is almost exactly the reverse, with only 10.6% living beneath the poverty line.

Even more wor rying, however, is that 23,000 IDPs are forced to live at the government minimum social-security level. This group is predominantly composed of Roma and of Serbs living in collective centres. They are of particular concern to the ICRC because ICRC food aid, which represents 40% of their total income, is scheduled to end next month.

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