MSF works to support increasing refugee numbers

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has released the folowing figures on refugee numbers in the Kosovo crisis.

General Refugee numbers:

  • Macedonia 125,000
  • Albania 310,000
  • Montenegro 63,000
  • Bosnia-Herz.27,000

SOURCE: UNHCR April 12, 1999

MSF currently has 97 people in the field working in a variety of posts and a total of 337 tons of material had been transported to the areq. The issue of goods and medical supplies being held up in customs is no longer the case. Field reports are that all supplies have landed and have been distributed to the field operations.

MSF current operations include massive involvement in Albania, where the bulk of refugees have been relocated. The overwhelming work has been to ensure the situation for the refugees does not worsen.

To this end, sanitation facilites for over 10,000 people has been installed in Albanian based camps. This coincides with vaccinations, medical and psychiatric care being offered as well.

In Macedonia, MSF is the only medical NGO operating in Radusa. At the Brazda camp, MSF is the leading medical NGO and we are assessing the local areas in case it becomes an area of refugee influx in the near future. NATO formally handed their activities in the Brazda camp over to MSF operations on Sunday.

In the camps, there is diarrhea and chronical diseases but the biggest concern right now is mental illness. People are exhausted. Some waited up to six to eight days in front of the Serb side of the border. Outside the refugee camps many people are looking for lost relatives and family members .

In Brazda camp there is a long queue of refugees to register for departure to Germany, Turkey or other third countries. They are taken by bus to the airport from the camps and seem to be happy - as happy as you can be under these circumstances - to leave.

In Montenego, the MSF has set up a temporary emergency health post to assist the new influx of refugees between Rozaje and border.