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Independent Evaluation of Expenditure of DEC Kosovo Appeal Funds: Phases I and II, April 1999 – January 2000

Research reports

This independent evaluation of expenditure of DEC Kosovo appeal funds covers the period between April 1999 and January 2000. The report describes the operational and policy issues, complexities and challenges faced by the 12 DEC member agencies in responding to the Kosovo emergency. The DEC agencies found themselves in the unique situation of working
in a crisis in which the UK government was a leading player in the military conflict and also,
as with other NATO governments, a major donor to and participant in the humanitarian response. For the agencies, this raised difficult issues of impartiality and neutrality.

The Kosovo emergency was regional in nature and comprised three distinct but interlinked
phases: the rapid flight of Kosovo Albanian refugees into neighbouring countries, the almost
equally rapid return of the majority of those refugees to Kosovo and the subsequent flight of
Kosovo Serbs and Roma from Kosovo, mainly into Serbia and Bosnia. The international
humanitarian response met most of the basic needs of affected populations in terms of food,
shelter and water supplies, in spite of the speed and scale of these population movements, the
threat of a hard Balkan winter and, in some cases, the difficulties of access. There were very
low rates of mortality and an absence of starvation and epidemics.

The evaluation notes that many factors contributed to this outcome, of which humanitarian
aid may not have been the most important. However, international assistance did improve the
conditions of the affected populations and the DEC agencies undoubtedly made a positive
contribution.

Peter Wiles, Mark Bradbury, Margie Buchanan-Smith, Steve Collins, John Cosgrave, Alistair Hallam, Manuela Mece, Nicola Norman, Ana Prodanovic, Jane Shackman and Fiona Watson