Select Committee on International Development First Special Report

Memorandum submitted by the Department for International Development

KOSOVO (Third Report 1998-99)

Balkans update: situation in Kosovo & DFID's involvement; commitments of main multilaterals.

Since January 2000, DFID has been developing a programme of strategically focussed technical assistance to support capacity building in the Joint Interim Administrative Structure (JIAS). This complements the £33 million programme which we contribute through the EC. The technical assistance strategy, to which DFID has committed £5 million per year over a 3 year period, focuses on seven key areas: the protection of civil and political rights; support to successful local elections; the restructuring of public sector enterprises; the establishment of an efficient and accountable health administration; the development and implementation of social policies; the development of public sector personnel policies and structures; and strengthening of civil society.

The main burden of reconstruction efforts will be supported by the European Commumity. The new European Agency for Reconstruction took over from the former EC Task Force at the end of February. It has prepared and secured Member States' approval for major programmes on energy, water supply, housing and transport, economic reconstruction and health. Its budget for 2000 is up to 360 million euros, of which the UK contributes 54 million euros. DFID provides the UK member of the Management Board of the Agency. We are working closely to ensure that our activities are complementary.

The World Bank has established a Trust Fund for Kosovo. We are working closely with the Bank, particularly in social policy. We are working with the Bank on health finance; arrangements for a survey of poverty in Kosovo; and the development of long-term social policies.

DFID will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in case a new emergency arises, and has made financial provision for this. We have also committed some £8 million for humanitarian mine action this financial year.

Donor support to Albania & Macedonia.

In the aftermath of the Kosovo crisis, and further to the pledges made at the Rome Donors Conference in 1999, the UK has committed £5.5m to Macedonia and £8m to Albania, effective from 1 April 2000 for a period of 3 years.

DFID is working within the framework of the Stability Pact to enhance Macedonia's capacity to conduct regional and international trade. DFID is carrying out work in the area of public administration reform, and supported the World Bank's Public Expenditure and Institutional Review. We will also assist the World Bank in designing a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in partnership with the Government. DFID assisted the Government of Macedonia in negotiating a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU, which is close to completion. DFID also continues to support the development of the SME sector in Macedonia and is working to strengthen the provision of Advice and Information Services for citizens.

In Albania, DFID is working with the Government to progress the reform of public administration and to improve the management of public funds. We continue to work to strengthen the key health care institutions in partnership with the World Bank. We are also supporting the World Bank's Social Service Reform Programme and the establishment of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Further strands of UK support include improving the livelihoods of rural communities, and establishing citizens' advice and information services.

Agreement between DFID & UNHCR

DFID published an Interim Strategy Paper on UNHCR in July 2000 as a framework for future co-operation. This sets out DFID's intention to work with UNHCR to help strengthen its management capacity and to encourage a greater focus on protection in its programming. In the medium term DFID seeks to develop the understanding and conditions necessary for a longer term partnership with UNHCR.

Meanwhile, DFID provides UNHCR with targeted financial and in­kind support for country programmes. Our in-kind support ranges from the secondment of experts in fields such as logistics, security and public information, to the vehicles and personnel required to mount an emergency food supply convoy operation. We also support central initiatives to improve emergency preparedness and response, contingency planning, protection, programme evaluation and strategy development. For example, DFID is supporting a programme to introduce project cycle management techniques across UNHCR operations.

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