News

Donor Countries Pledge $1.9 Billion in Kosovo Aid

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Bryant

A donors' meeting in Brussels Friday has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for Kosovo, to help it get on its feet. Lisa Bryant has more for VOA from Paris.

Kosovo's government hoped international donors would pledge about $2.36 billion at the Brussels donors' meeting. By early Friday, it had already received promises for about half of that sum. The European Union promised $785 million, while the United States announced a pledge of $400 million.

The money will help shore up the economy and institutions of Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in February.  But it is only a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed for Kosovo's long-term development. Still, Kosovo's Prime Minister Hasim Thaci painted a bright future for his country at a press conference.

"Kosovo is a new state in Europe," he said. "It is a success story for us and the international community and we will make it an economic success story now."

Mr. Thaci also said Kosovo had applied for membership to the International Monetary Fund and to the World Bank and hoped some day join the 27-member EU. But Kosovo has a long way to go. Roughly 45 percent of its citizens live in poverty, according to the EU, and four in 10 of its working age citizens are unemployed.

Donors are demanding accountability for their funds - and for the money to be used to help both Kosovo's majority Albanian and minority Serbian communities - a point underscored by European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.

"I am sure the Kosovo authorities know that they have to make the promises materialize for all people in Kosovo by ensuring that every single euro will be accounted for and put to good use," he said.

Over 40 countries, including the United States, recognize Kosovo's independence - but not Russia, Serbia and several EU members. Belgrade and Moscow have threatened to block Kosovo's entry into international institutions, including the United Nations.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs