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UN Secretary-General visits Mercy Corps project in Kosovo

Kosovo, November 20, 2002

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    Mercy Corps Mission Director Don Boring and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan meet with a shopkeeper in Makresh, Kosovo. With the help of an ARC loan the shopkeeper has been able to expand his business. Photo by UNMIK/DPI Photographer Afrim Hajrullahu Photo:

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan received a first hand look at a Mercy Corps project today on the final day of a two-day trip to Kosovo.

The Secretary-General, in the province to review the work of the UN Mission, visited the small village of Makresh where he examined houses, shops and schools rebuilt by the UN and its partners since the end of the Kosovo conflict.

While touring Makresh, Annan took particular interest in a greenhouse that had been rebuilt by Mercy Corps as part of its program to strengthen Kosovo's agricultural sector and improve the ability of farmers to generate income. Funding for the project was provided by the US Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Accompanied by Mercy Corps Mission Director Don Boring, Annan also saw a parade of pigs, goats, chickens and other livestock that had been donated by Mercy Corps to community members in the village.

After his tour of Makresh, Annan held a meeting with about 20 members of the community where he heard from both an Albanian and a Serb who credited Mercy Corps' assistance with their return to the village.

Mercy Corps has been working in Kosovo since 1993. In 1999, Mercy Corps responded to the refugee crisis created by the conflict in the former Yugoslavia by providing food aid to 200,000 people in the northwestern part of Kosovo. Mercy Corps was designated by UNHCR as the lead agency for non-food aid in the Pec/Peja area.

Currently Mercy Corps is implementing agriculture, economic development, microcredit, health and minority return and reconciliation programs in Kosovo with funding from over ten donors. Mercy Corps is recognized as a leader in the economic and agricultural revitalization of Kosovo.