Hillary Clinton announces additional aid to Kosovar refugees
By Paul Courson/CNN
May 18, 1999
Web posted at: 5:24 p.m. EDT (2124 GMT)
WASHINGTON (May 18) -- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Tuesday an additional $15 million dollars in U.S. relief to the displaced people of Kosovo.
The money will help non-government and United Nations groups care for refugees in the border regions of Macedonia and Albania, and will also help pay to re-settle as many as 20,000 ethnic Albanians who may choose to live with friends and relatives in the United States.
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton talks about her recent trip to visit refugees in Macedonia, Tuesday May 18, 1999 in the Old Executive Office Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
The first lady spoke at a briefing she held to describe her recent trip to a camp in Macedonia. She said the refugees -- mostly women and children -- described the slaughter of adult men as armed Serbs pushed Kosovars from their homes.
"These heartbreaking stories, of families separated, of girls raped, of men executed, of homes destroyed ... must be told and re-told and never forgotten," Mrs. Clinton said, "
The first lady said "nothing makes the case more powerfully for why the United States and our NATO allies are pursuing their mission in Kosovo, and why we cannot give up until the evils perpetrated by (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic and his regime have been stopped and the refugees return home in peace and safety."
Total U.S. aid to the Kosovo refugees has now reached $200 million. The latest funding comes from a presidential budget item called the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund, which has already provided $70 million to help in the refugee crisis.
Mrs. Clinton also announced the establishment of an Internet-based information resource to help the Kosovo refugees find loved ones. The computer system will be based at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The military base is now serving as a processing center for Kosovars coming to the United States.
The Web site will feature a people locator, as well as news and information in Albanian. It will include links with similar computer resources in Macedonia, Albania and elsewhere in Europe.