Israel to Aid Refugees in Kosovo, Moldova and Yakutia

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
8 July 1998

In light of the large numbers of Albanian refugees fleeing Kosovo, the Foreign Ministry Director-General has authorized the dispatch of humanitarian aid to the refugees.

Since the start of the fighting in the Kosovo area in late February, large numbers of the Albanian residents of the area have begun to leave their homes. From a population of 100,000, around 50,000 refugees, mainly women, children and the aged, have fled to northern Albania. The Albanian government is trying to cope with a difficult economic situation and terrible human suffering in this area.

In light of this situation, Israel has decided to help the Albanian government, via the Israeli embassy in Rome, which will be instructed to purchase and transfer the required materials.

At the same time, the Foreign Ministry has approved an aid package to Moldova, in response to a personal request from the wife of the Moldovan president, who asked for medical assistance for the country’s children. Israel is sending medical supplies and equipment worth $5,000 to Moldova tomorrow, on a commercial flight to Kishinev.

A third area of suffering is Yakutia in the Russian Federation, where at least 14 people have been killed and 150,000 left homeless after floods swept through the entire area. Following an approach made by the President of the Yakutia Autonomous Region to the Israeli embassy in Russia, the Foreign Ministry decided to send several thousand dollars worth of medical supplies to the stricken area. The aid will be sent within the next few days.