Kosovo funds fail to materialise

At least $1.25bn was pledged after bombing

James Robbins

Thursday, 27 January, 2000

The United States says there is a serious crisis in Kosovo because many governments who pledged money for reconstruction have failed to pay up.

The American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, said the United Nation's mission could not help people to resume their normal lives without proper funding.

As soon as Serb forces had been pushed out of Kosovo last June, governments around the world rushed to promise money for reconstruction and for the establishment of new democratic institutions in the province.

That work is being done by a special United Nations' mission based in Pristina, but now the United States is accusing many governments of pledging money to the UN, but not handing it over.

At least $1.25bn was promised.

Countries not named

America's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, said partner countries must hand over the money promptly.

"The UN mission in Kosovo cannot restore electric power, provide public security, arrange elections and revitalise the economy with promises alone," she said.

"It must have the resources required to help the people rebuild their society and resume normal lives."

Mrs Albright did not identify the countries she holds responsible, nor did she say how much money was overdue.