FY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals
The U.S. Government’s (USG) continuing goal is to help Kosovo become a stable, multiethnic, democratic, and prosperous country fully integrated into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions and contributing to the peaceful development of the western Balkans. Five policy priorities guide USG assistance to Kosovo: (1) strengthening Kosovo’s democratic institutions; (2) ensuring that Kosovo’s diverse communities all participate in building a tolerant society; (3) furthering the development of the country’s economy while ensuring all of its citizens benefit from growing prosperity; (4) ensuring that society and government are firmly grounded in the rule of law; and (5) cementing progress in all these areas through the realization of Kosovo’s European and Euro-Atlantic future.
Total FY 2010 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $99.27 million*
(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2010, not including centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries.)
Highlights of FY 2010 Performance by Area of Focus
Peace and Security
-- The USG strengthened the Kosovo Security Force (KSF) through training and operational support, in coordination with the Government of Kosovo (GOK) and international military allies. The USG provided basic equipment such as uniforms, 20,000 personal protection equipment kits, and two English language labs. Training was focused on enhancing officer and non-commissioned officer (NCO) leadership and professional development. 43 KSF members attended Basic, Captains Career, and Command and General Staff College (CGSC) courses.
-- In addition to significant training and equipment support for customs and border officials, U.S. assistance has been the key to the development of an effective legislative framework for controlling proliferation and transit of WMD materials. The USG coordinated the drafting of the Law on the Strategic Trade Control which will regulate trade in dual-use, WMD, and items of nonproliferation concern. This draft law is essential to the GOK’s authority on export controls which is divided across a number of governmental agencies. When implemented, this law will enable the GOK to promulgate and enforce regulations to ensure businesses do not engage in transactions that could lead to the proliferation of WMD and other items.
-- Relying significantly on USG technical guidance, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA) established a unified chain of command, resulting for the first time a clear division of responsibility within the Kosovo Police (KP) organization. As a result, 450 officers previously undertaking administrative duties were reassigned to patrol operations, and significant duplication of work at various levels was eliminated. In addition the improved chain of command structure provides for improved gender balance and increased minority participation in KP operations and decision making. As of June 30, 2010, the six regional headquarters and all 33 local police stations had adopted the same organizational blueprint. USG assistance also resulted in legislative changes that will improve the Police Inspectorate of Kosovo’s ability to discipline officers and combat corruption within the KP.
-- USG funding supported up to 86 police officers, judges and prosecutors and political officers working under the aegis of the European Union’s rule-of-law mission, EULEX. The U.S.-seconded officers have provided the Kosovo Police with technical guidance to hone the effectiveness of the KP at all organizational levels. This included rewriting standard operating procedures to allow the KP to appropriately destroy non-evidentiary items rather than storing them indefinitely. These procedural improvements resulted in the destruction of more than 1,000 seized weapons, over 14,000 rounds of military grade ammunition, 154 military weapon magazines, and significant quantities of narcotics.
-- Technical assistance from multiple USG agencies resulted in the adoption of a comprehensive anti-money laundering and terrorist financing law, which imposes international and Financial Action Task Force-compliant reporting obligations. Once implemented, Kosovo will be better able to investigate and prosecute cases of this nature and constrain the ability of criminals to move or “launder” their illicit profits.
Governing Justly and Democratically
-- In 2010, the USG continued to work extensively to improve Kosovo’s local government legislative framework and build the capacity of municipalities to provide services. In addition to significant training for officials, the USG placed a special focus on helping municipalities to raise revenue, improve their capital investment planning, and combat illegal construction. As a result, revenue collection is up by 8 percent in comparison to the same period last year, significantly enhancing the financial viability of local government units.
-- USG assistance helped reform the legal and regulatory framework for civil society, and to foster constructive dialogue between civil society groups and the government. Highlights of this assistance include the publication of a Monthly Anti-Corruption Monitor and the organization of a lake clean-up that gained the support of local government officials and a fisherman’s cooperative to ensure sustainability of the project. USG assistance also increased participation of women and youth in civil society initiatives. Funding for women’s business associations, women’s health training and women’s legal advocacy projects encouraged grassroots initiatives and stimulated engagement by marginalized and under-served communities.
-- Encouraging integration and participation of Kosovo Serbs in Kosovo’s institutions and society through full implementation of the Ahtisaari Plan, or Comprehensive Status Proposal (CSP), remains a priority for U.S. assistance programs. The USG assisted newly elected representatives in four Kosovo Serb-majority municipalities created in accordance with the CSP to set up their municipal administrations, hire administration staff, train elected and appointed staff, and begin provision of critical municipal services. Newly elected municipal assembly members were also given training in their new roles and responsibilities and support was provided in developing a basic municipal regulatory framework.
-- Supporting minority media is also an enduring priority for the U.S. In 2010, the USG equipped a network of four Serbian-language TV stations to enable them to exchange live and recorded programming. A network hub was established close to the capital, Pristina, which has linked otherwise separated Serb communities, providing them with better access to news about Kosovo and the wider region. The network serves approximately 30 percent of the ethnic Serb population and is in the process of developing joint feature programs which include Kosovo Albanians and international representatives, as well as Kosovo Serb politicians and community leaders.
-- USG assistance helped to reform the legal and regulatory framework for civil society and to foster constructive dialogue between civil society groups and the Kosovo government. The NGO Law was amended in 2010, with U.S. technical advice. The USG helped launch an online registration database linked to the Government of Kosovo’s portal for the Ministry of Public Administration’s NGO Department. U.S. funds directly supported 27 NGOs, including Kosovo Serb and other minority NGOs to improve their advocacy campaigns. USG assistance to civil society promoted the participation of women and youth in Kosovo society. Funding for women’s business associations, women’s health training and women’s legal advocacy projects encouraged grassroots initiatives and stimulated engagement by marginalized and under-served communities.
-- U.S. advisors provided significant guidance and assistance designed to strengthen the capacity and performance of the legislature. The Kosovo Assembly finalized its Rules of Procedure, which will have a profound impact on how Assembly members meet their democratic responsibilities during plenary sessions and through oversight committees. USG assistance supported the establishment of a new research office to improve the quality of information available to Assembly Members. It contributed to the adoption of several key pieces of legislation implementing electoral reforms and improving labor laws.
-- Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of any democracy. During 2010 the U.S. provided policy and technical assistance to the Kosovo Elections Working Group (led by the Central Elections Commission), which resulted in amendments to Kosovo’s electoral law. The amendments rectified shortcomings in the electoral process identified during the 2009 municipal elections, in particular the handling of appeals. The amendments also enhanced competition by expanding the party list system to allow voters to select up to five candidates. The USG also provided training to the Electoral Complaints and Appeals Commission to improve the staff’s knowledge of the rules of procedure for handling election-related complaints and appeals and helped to build the body’s capacity to conduct public awareness campaigns related to the role of the Commission and the process of filing a complaint. This assistance helped to prepare the CEC and ECAC to organize snap December 12, 2010, parliamentary elections, which were largely efficient and effective, although there were a few serious irregularities.
-- In 2010, the USG continued to provide legislative drafting and other technical assistance to modernize and make more efficient Kosovo’s rule-of-law institutions and legal framework. In 2010, with sustained USG support, Kosovo’s National Assembly adopted four laws critical to ensuring judicial and prosecutorial independence, efficiency, transparency, and accountability: 1) the Law on Courts; 2) the Law on the Kosovo Judicial Council; 3) the Law on Prosecutors; and, 4) the Law on Kosovo Prosecutorial Council. USG assistance also contributed to the adoption of the Law on the Police Inspectorate of Kosovo, which will improve the integrity, professionalism, and accountability of the Kosovo Police. Progress was made toward a witness protection law and new criminal code as well.
-- USG rule of law assistance in Kosovo continued to focus on improving the three pillars of access to, respect, and demand for justice. The Independent Judicial and Prosecutorial Commission, with financial support from the EU and USG, completed its work of vetting Kosovo’s judges and prosecutors. This comprehensive review of the suitability of individuals for permanent appointment improved the caliber of Kosovo’s judges and prosecutors and public confidence in the justice sector.
Investing in People
-- USG assistance increased access to potable water in Kosovo, focusing on five municipalities in Kosovo where the percentage of households without access to potable water ranged from 55 to 80 percent and where there was little other donor support for rural water systems, USG programs secured access to potable water for 37,832 beneficiaries.
-- In the health sector, USG assistance continued to focus on improving the provision of essential maternal and child health services. U.S. funding enhanced the capacity of regional hospitals to care for at-risk newborns with equipment, supplies, training, and on-the-job mentoring. It trained doctors and nurses at regional hospitals and Family Medicine Centers in better methods for high-risk births. Community-based outreach awareness programs focused on child birth preparation, prenatal care, and proper infant nutrition. By adapting and equipping two ambulances to support transfer of at-risk newborns and selecting and training a core team of physicians and nurses USG support developed a comprehensive neonatal transport program.
-- The USG continued to invest in educational infrastructure by providing targeted support to renovate and expand the number of functional classrooms in the country, thereby reducing the need to limit instructional hours to accommodate two shifts of students per day. With matching governmental funds, classroom renovations benefitted a total of 13,499 students. The construction of five new classrooms reduced the number of student shifts at schools and added hours of instruction for 13,076 students.
-- Significant technical assistance has been provided to the Government of Kosovo to improve its tax administration and collection in order to secure the long-term fiscal viability of the Government. Working in collaboration with the Swedish International Development Agency, the U.S. helped develop and deploy a property tax software system at the municipal level. Additional training and technical guidance in audit selection and other tax administration systems and processes at the Tax Administration of Kosovo contributed to an 8 percent increase in revenues collected over the prior year.
-- Support for the Public-Private-Partnership unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economy facilitated the Pristina International Airport concession process. The tender for the Pristina International Airport’s operation and expansion was Kosovo’s first successful attempt to attract long-term strategic investment for public infrastructure and services. It represented a major achievement for the country’s government and legal system. The winning consortium will operate, modernize, and expand the airport, investing over €100 million in new infrastructure, including construction of a new terminal. Estimates are that the PPP will generate approximately €450 million in revenues while retaining Kosovo's full ownership over the twenty-year contract.
-- In the agricultural sector, USG assistance focused on improving product quality, diversity, handling, storage and delivery capacities to expand access to domestic and export markets. These achievements will help drive commercialization in Kosovo’s agricultural sector as well as integration into the EU and world markets. USG interventions helped raise farmers and processors' agricultural sales from approximately $36 million to $44 million for in 2010.
-- USG contributions toward building the private sector focused mainly on the strategically important sectors of construction, wood processing, information communication and technology (ICT), and tourism. The USG technical assistance helped individual firms to increase competitiveness through, consultations with industry experts and operational guidance. The USG aided Kosovo producers in establishing regional linkages and expanding into new markets through participation in trade fairs, resulting in increased investments of over $1,100,000 and increased sales of over $1.8 million in the wood processing sector. Efforts to promote tourism generated $1.15 million in sales. As a result of USG efforts in all of the sectors, more than 700 new jobs were created, sales increased by $15.6 million, and more than $10 million in capital investment was attracted in 2010.