FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: Kosovo

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
FY 2009 U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Central and Eastern Europe


FY 2009 Foreign Assistance Goals

The U.S. Government’s (USG) continuing goal is to help Kosovo become a stable, democratic, and prosperous country within Europe, contributing to the peaceful development of the western Balkans. Five policy priorities guide USG assistance in Kosovo: (1) building 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 so that all its citizens can enjoy the benefits of 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 future. Progress in all these areas will ensure that a democratic, multiethnic, and prosperous Kosovo takes its place among the trans-Atlantic community of nations and is a force for stability within the region.

Total FY 2009 Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance: $123.03 million*

Date: 01/2010 Description: Kosovo chart shows HA $0.56m 1%; P&S $39.12m 32%; GJD $25.09m 20%; Program Support $6.11m 5%; IIP $2.84m 2%; EG $49.31m 40%. FY 2009 Areas of Focus-- EG: Economic Growth; P&S: Peace and Security; GJD: Governing Justly and Democratically; IIP: Investing in People; HA: Humanitarian Assistance. - State Dept Image

(*Foreign Operations funding appropriated for FY 2009, not including centrally managed, regional Foreign Operations funding that is not budgeted for specific countries.)

Highlights of FY 2009 Performance by Area of Focus

Peace and Security

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Increased border security through the continued expansion of the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluations System (PISCES) installations. The system provides Kosovo’s law enforcement agencies with equipment that captures the information of travelers entering Kosovo, linked with all ports of entry in real time. PISCES was installed at ten ports of entry in Kosovo, including Pristina International Airport and at several border crossing points with Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro.

  • Provided more than $1.5 million in inspection and detection equipment to the Customs and the Border Police, providing 20 training events for 356 Kosovo customs officials, border police and Kosovo Government officials over the past two years.

  • Funded 80 police officers, four judges and prosecutors, and two policy advisers to the European Union’s (EU) rule of law mission, EULEX. The USG also provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA), the Kosovo Security Force, and the Kosovo Police. USG-funded advisors to the MOIA assisted the Ministry in establishing administrative procedures and standards for hiring, promotion and discipline of the Kosovo Police.

  • Provided funding and equipment to train the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), a civilian-led emergency response and civil protection force. U.S. technical assistance built the capacity of the Ministry for the KSF and supported the demobilization and reintegration of members of the Kosovo Protection Corps. USG technical assistance aided the development of policies, procedures and training programs. Nine senior officers of the KSF received training, and a U.S. Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) seminar on combating corruption was well attended by participants from various Government of Kosovo (GOK) agencies.

  • Improved Kosovo’s ability to investigate, prosecute, and deter financial crime by providing technical assistance in drafting new anti-money-laundering and confiscation-of-assets laws, which will become the foundation for Kosovo’s future Financial Intelligence Unit.

  • Supported national counter-trafficking initiatives and contributed to the implementation of the newly published National Strategy to Combat Trafficking. In coordination with the GOK and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), three shelter service providers were competitively selected to provide victim protection and assistance. Post-shelter support for victims of trafficking was closely coordinated with local NGOs and the Kosovo Center for Social Work. Such support was successfully provided in six municipalities and will be expanded to other municipalities, to include Kosovo Serb NGOs. The development of Minimum Standards of Care for Victims of Trafficking was also initiated, and a total of 383 people have received training on counter-trafficking issues. In addition, a USG-assisted local NGO now has the capacity to conduct anti-trafficking training with and for youth.

Governing Justly and Democratically

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Increased municipal own-source revenues by 17.2% over the previous year, which improved capital investment planning and the ability to combat illegal construction. To create a pool of local government experts, the USG launched a train-the-trainer certification program for 16 selected local experts. In FY 2009, 1,485 local and Ministry officials received training, 25% of who were women.

  • Supported the Kosovo Judicial Institute to train 600 court employees, judges and non-judicial staff in court administration, while 22 new entry professionals were trained and mentored within model courts. In addition, 185 current judges benefitted from 20 basic and advanced courses on the Judicial Code of Ethics, as well as a complete continuing education program. More than 1,000 justice-sector personnel were trained on–the-job, through other courses, as well as through U.S. Trial Court volunteers. With USG assistance, legislation was passed allowing plea bargaining, and both prosecutors and judges are being trained in the technique’s effective use.

  • Resulted in ten courts successfully implementing court improvement action plans. Once piloted, the reforms will be adopted system-wide. Four courts have made significant progress on backlog reduction. In one court, the clearance rate increased by 26%.

  • Helped support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which now has 21 diplomatic missions abroad. The USG helped prepare consular regulations, recruitment and hiring plans, protocol regulations for missions abroad, and policies and procedures regarding diplomatic privileges and immunities. A five-week training program provided for 52 newly selected personnel enhanced the capacity of Kosovo’s new diplomats.

  • Resulted in the approval by the Kosovo National Assembly of the Assembly Strategic Plan, which includes better parliamentary oversight of the executive, more efficient functioning of Assembly bodies, a more inclusive legislative process, and greater support for Members of Parliament in constituency outreach and capacity building for the administration. In addition, the USG helped launch a monthly television debate, “I Take the Floor,” in order to increase the visibility of women in parliament. Nine segments have been broadcast thus far.

  • Assisted 975 political party members in 16 political parties to refine party philosophies, craft focused policies and platforms, develop inclusive and transparent infrastructure, and streamline internal organization. The USG has also worked with nascent and developing Kosovo Serb and other parties representing non-majority communities to create branch structures, recruit new members, and cultivate party leadership.

  • Helped build the capacity of Kosovo Serb political parties resulting in three members running for mayor in the 2009 municipal elections. In their campaigns, these candidates used skills such as door-to-door canvassing, media training and campaign planning strategies. One Kosovo Serb political party expanded its local branch operations to include two new offices in order to increase outreach. Other parties, including those based in the Ashkali and Bosniak communities, created membership databases and initiated membership registration drives.

  • Supported nine Kosovo Serb broadcast media outlets in order to increase business viability, enhance professionalism, and improve media products. The Kosovo Media Association network, consisting of five Serbian language radio stations, completed a technical overhaul, resulting in increased reliability of the network’s signal, lower maintenance costs, and greater ease of use.

  • Funded the production of four 60-minute television programs focusing on local government operations and outreach to Kosovo Serb communities, employment opportunities, Serb integration into Kosovo society, and decentralization. The mayors of four municipalities and representatives of bodies funded by the Government of Serbia in Kosovo participated. These programs helped establish cooperation between television stations based in the Kosovo Albanian and Kosovo Serb communities, eased tensions between the two communities in southeastern Kosovo, and facilitated engagement between them.

  • Helped create a network of 13 community development groups in 11 municipalities, representing most of the minority population south of Iber/Ibar River. The fora identified the most pressing issues and needs of the local minority population and planned interventions to address those issues. By September 2009, more than 5,000 people had benefitted from over 30 quick impact income generation and infrastructure related improvements.

  • Supported the strengthening of Kosovo Serb civil society through the creation of the Kosovo Policy Action Network (KPAN), which brought together more than 70 representatives of civil society, the media, and the community to unite on policy change to benefit non-majority communities. KPAN has resulted in the creation of three task groups on economic security, quality of life, and freedom of movement.
Investing in People

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Trained 1,088 health professionals in all five major districts in Kosovo in neonatal, obstetric and prenatal care. In addition, USG assistance brought access to safe and reliable public water supply services to the homes of those who have never had them before. To maximize the impact of USG funding, the program entered into agreements with local governments, which have agreed to a fifty-fifty cost-sharing arrangement. By the end of 2009, USG assistance had brought access to potable water to 23,000 beneficiaries.

  • Supported four panel discussions to raise public awareness about the human rights of people with disabilities (PWDs). The USG distributed 786 books of success stories of PWDs to eight municipalities.

Economic Growth

In FY 2009, USG assistance:

  • Supported energy sector reform, resulting in an agreement by the GOK, USG, and World Bank on a strategic approach to include the development of a new mine and new generation capacity, private sector rehabilitation and expansion of the Kosovo B power plant, and privatization of the distribution network. In addition, the European Commission is funding a study of closure costs for the Kosovo A power plant. Successful realization of these transactions will help develop new cost-effective mining and low-emissions generation capacity that will provide affordable power to meet the needs of Kosovo’s households and commercial customers, in conjunction with improved energy efficiency.

  • Trained officials in the Budget and Treasury Departments on risk management, cash-flow forecasting and cash management. In conjunction with Kosovo’s assumption of external debt for the first time, the USG also helped the GOK to develop a national debt strategy and a debt management database. A comprehensive national debt law, currently pending assembly approval, was drafted with USG support.

  • Helped the Central Bank of Kosovo’s (CBK) supervision departments to exercise strong, competent oversight and regulation of the commercial banks, insurance companies and Kosovo Pension Savings Trust. An evaluation of USG assistance to the bank determined that the project succeeded in its objectives and the CBK can now stand alone.

  • Helped increase tax collections by 7% over last year. USG capacity-building efforts focused on strengthened management, improved systems that ensure consistent tax collection practices, and improved specific skills such as risk-based auditing to support good tax policies through fair and equitable tax inspections.

  • Supported efforts by the Kosovo Energy Corporation to reach agreements on service and payment in areas with significant Kosovo Serb populations. As a result, agreements were concluded with all villages and the two large Kosovo Serb areas south of the Ibar/Iber River. Work continues aimed at regularizing electricity service to areas in the northern part of Kosovo.

  • Resulted in increases in agriculture sales from approximately $31 million to $36 million annually and attracted more than $1.2 million in capital investment. Priorities in this sector included improving agricultural production, product quality, and market chain linkages as well as supporting new product development.

  • Introduced new technologies and practices to improve dairy processing and product standardization. This included new technologies to better utilize excess milk and lower the costs of dairy production. Together, these interventions resulted in increased revenues averaging $200 per 1,000 liters per day among participating dairies.

  • Established regional linkages and expanded and opened new markets, thereby helping to increase annual sales of pepper producers and wood processors, and increase revenue in the tourism sector. USG programs helped private-sector enterprises create more than 300 new jobs, increase sales by $14 million and attract more than $12.5 million in capital investment.

  • Trained 323 youths in job and employment skills and another 332 youths in civic engagement skills. As a direct result, 712 youths (49% female) were placed as interns or received apprenticeships. After the completion of internships/apprenticeships, 84 youths found full time employment in the private sector.

  • Produced significant income increases for dairy farmers. Milk quality test results taken for three consecutive months from a sample size of 75 units from the 160 dairy farms benefitting from USG assistance showed that 85% of them experienced an improvement in milk quality. On average, a commercial farmer who is producing 100 liters per day increased his income by 90 euros per month by qualifying for milk-quality payments of 0.03 euros per liter.