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International assistance helps maintain food security in Albania and Macedonia

An Albanian farmer prepares a field in a mountainous region on the border with Macedonia
FAO/17899/C. Grace

The quick response of international agencies and non-governmental organizations in supplying food and emergency assistance during the Kosovo refugee crisis contributed significantly to maintaining overall food security in Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, according to Special Reports prepared by FAO/World Food Programme Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions to those two countries.

Both reports conclude that the influx of Kosovar refugees has had little impact on the agricultural production and food prices in Macedonia and Albania. In early June, at the height of the crisis, the number of Kosovar refugees in Albania was estimated at 440 000, half of whom lived with host families. Macedonia had taken in 250 000 refugees, with 150 000 staying with host families.

The Missions' findings indicate that there are no signs of significant food shortages or malnutrition in either country and that both countries will be able to meet their population's cereal requirements through domestic production and commercial imports.

The reports stressed, however, that the crisis has aggravated the general economic instability both countries have experienced in recent years which has led to a deterioration of the overall food security of many households and to an increase in poverty levels.

13 July 1999

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