Macedonia accuses refugee agency of failing to pay up

SKOPJE, Feb 22, 2000 -- (AFP) Macedonia accused the U.N. refugee agency Monday of failing to pay around five million dollars in aid it had promised to cover last year's flood of refugees from Kosovo.

The Macedonian official in charge of building camps -- which at one stage housed 360,000 refugees -- told the Vecer daily paper that the UNHCR agency had paid out only a third of the 8.8 million dollars it had promised.

"They paid when the building began, and then the process stopped," Marjan Ivanovksi told the paper.

But the UNHCR's spokesman in Skopje, Goran Momirovski, insisted that the final payment was pending an independent audit of the total expenses incurred in building the camps and installing facilities.

"The procedure is underway, and in principle everything that has been spent will be reimbursed," said Momirovski.

Original article