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April 2, 1999: Humanitarian Aid to Kosovo

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Ultimately, we want to make it possible for the victims to return home, to live in security and enjoy self-government.

President Bill Clinton
April 2, 1999

Today, President Clinton met with representatives of non-governmental humanitarian organizations to discuss our relief efforts for Kosovar Albanians. Since the eruption of hostilities in Kosovo in early 1998, the United States has been at the forefront of international efforts to address the humanitarian needs of persons displaced within Kosovo and refugees fleeing Kosovo.

Providing Humanitarian Relief to Kosovar Albanians. To date, the United States' contribution to humanitarian aid for the Kosovar Albanians totals an estimated $150 million. This sum includes a provision of $50 million announced by the Clinton Administration this week.

  • Half of the $50 million comes from the Refugee Emergency and Migration Account (ERMA) and will be used to support international organizations like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and non-governmental organizations.
  • The other $25 million is comprised of goods and services, including transport, shelter and logistical support, to be provided by the Department of Defense pursuant to the Foreign Assistance Act.
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has sent Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART) to Macedonia and Albania. These teams are evaluating our humanitarian response.
  • USAID is sending 200 boxes of plastic sheeting, 20,000 hygiene kits, and 39,000 blankets to Macedonia for use in relief efforts. USAID is also shipping 700 tents and 20,000 water jugs for use by the refugee population in Albania.

Working to End the Crisis in Kosovo. Today, in a statement made at the White House, the President said that the United States will continue to work with our NATO allies to end the crisis in Kosovo so that thousands of refugees are able to return home, live in security and enjoy self-government. President Clinton also reaffirmed that the United States will hold President Milosevic and the Serbian government responsible for the safety and well-being of the three Army infantrymen who were seized while carrying out a peaceful mission in Macedonia.

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