Refugees in Kosovo
The Republic of Serbia and the new Independent state of Kosovo host the largest number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.
Integration of the most vulnerable refugees remains problematic, due to lack of institutional capacity, inefficient implementing mechanisms for development strategies and limited resources.
The situation in the province of Kosovo is even more uncertain now as newly won independence has increased the tension between the two countries and communities as well.
UNHCR provides appropriate assistance to vulnerable minority returnees, some 21,000 people displaced within Kosovo.
Freedom of movement, access to services, housing, employment, civil registration, balanced information and legal as well as medical assistance remain priority needs for the refugees in Kosovo.
Surveys done in 2006 and 2007 found that the lack of livelihood opportunities are among the most challenging problems for IDPs, regardless of ethnic group.
Furthermore, many IDPs live in temporary accommodation and are extremely vulnerable, resulting in poor health.
There is a lack of access to health services for children and the elderly. Women are especially concerned about the provision of electricity, water, heating and public transportation, while men declare more concerned about freedom of movement.
The sense of insecurity is a consequence of past and recent incidents that have affected minorities and reflects a lack of trust in any government or organization.
Two refugee camps (containers) in the city of Gracanica (10 klm out of Prishtina), one refugee camp in Plementine (mainly Rom), near the electrical plant of Obilic (people living in abandoned houses, waiting to be given a flat in the new buildings built by the Serbian government to keep people there) and one old school turned to a refugee camp in north (Serbian) part of Mitrovica (the first three camps are in Albanian Kosovo).