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U.S. group to begin Kosovo food drops Monday

airdrop
The planes will drop food rations daily to displaced ethnic Albanians in Kosovo

related videoRELATED VIDEO
CNN's David Ensor reports on relief air drops (May 28)
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 MESSAGE BOARD:
Crisis in Kosovo
 ALSO:
Russian envoy 'very satisfied' with Milosevic talks

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U.S. balances refugee needs, war goals

Refugees dodge shellfire, snipers

 

May 28, 1999
Web posted at: 10:14 p.m. EDT (0214 GMT)

From CNN's David Ensor and Kevin Bohn

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a U.S. based private relief organization, said Friday that it would begin sustained air drops of food over Kosovo early Monday.

Sources told CNN that the drops, funded by the U.S. government, could last up to 30 days and will involve initially two flights a day from Pescara, Italy.

Each plane will carry at least 4,000 food rations, to be parachuted to the ground on large pallets. Each ration has enough nutrition for one person for one day.

Organizers admit the airdrops will supply only a "very small portion" of what is needed. Refugees who have left Kosovo in the last few weeks paint a dire picture of the food situation inside the province, and humanitarian officials fear food supplies are dwindling for those ethnic Albanians displaced within the province.

Officials said the Yugoslav government has been notified of the effort, and that the IRC delivered a letter to the Yugoslav mission at the United Nations.

One official involved in the effort said the organizers hope the Yugoslav government will respect the humanitarian nature of the mission.

However, Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Wald told reporters that he did not think the food drops were a good idea.

"The reason I say that is that I have zero trust for what (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic or his army might try to do," Wald said at a Pentagon briefing. "So I think they're putting themselves, from an operational perspective, at great risk in doing this."

The IRC is using chartered planes from the former Russian republic of Moldovia.



RELATED STORIES:
Milosevic indictment makes history
May 27, 1999
Russian envoy due back in Belgrade for Milosevic meeting
May 27, 1999
Trial of aid workers begins in Yugoslavia
May 26, 1999
Some Kosovo refugees moved deeper into Albania
May 25, 1999


RELATED SITES:
Related to this story:
  • U.S. Department of State
  • European Union Home Page
  • The United Nations

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kosovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosova Liberation Peace Movement
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • United States Air Force
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Relief:
  • World Relief
  • USA for UNHCR
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • The IOM Migration Web
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis


Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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