"Kosovo/a Initiative" Assessment Mission
R E P O R T
DRC Job no. 503-556
Supported by FRESTA
The overall situation in the UN administered province of Kosovo/a regarding return, security and the degree of development of local NGOs varies significantly from one region to another. Therefore, the mission made an effort to cover some of the key areas in order to reflect the existing situation and outline common denominators as well as region-specific issues faced by civil society actors in Kosovo/a.
The recent initiatives to establish a dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade on the political level, as well as positive pressure from the UN and international community to end the violence and enhance the ongoing process of creating a better environment for all Kosovo citizens will undoubtedly have an impact on the development of civil society structures, including NGOs. This includes a range of interventions that also acknowledges for example that the economic situation nevertheless still remains as one of the key problems: the unemployment rate runs up to 60-65%, with 17% of the population living in extreme poverty.
On the other hand, the incidents that occurred in Kosovo/a during August 2003, resulting in deaths of local inhabitants, have again somewhat radicalized the situation in the province and represent a significant challenge to the return process and results achieved so far in this respect. This could also have an adverse impact on the work of local NGOs and further development of the civil society structures. It is therefore necessary to involve various stakeholders in advocacy, lobbying and tolerance building activities aimed at influencing positive changes in the overall Kosovar society.