Donor Commitment to Kosovo Reconfirmed

Prishtinë, Apr 6, 2006 – A donor conference organized by the European Commission and the World Bank in conjunction with UNMIK and the Kosovo Government took place on Wednesday in Prishtina, UNMIK Information Office informs. Antonio de Lecea, Director, International Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission and Kanthan Shankar, Kosovo’s World Bank Resident Representative co-chaired the meeting with opening remarks delivered by Prime Minister Agim Ceku.

The event focused on Kosovo’s budgetary needs and on the Public Investment Programme outlined in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), an economic and financial programme for Kosovo. Bilateral donors, as well as Kosovo’s multilateral donors participated in the meeting, including the European Agency for Reconstruction, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the German Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau and USAID.

During the meeting, the European Commission, the World Bank and USAID indicated that they would contribute up to € 56 million (European Commission € 50 million, World Bank $ 5 million, USAID $ 2 million) to the Kosovo budget, pending a final authorisation process. The money will be allocated to cover the expected budget deficit in 2006 and 2007.

In addition to budgetary issues, the Public Investment Programme was discussed. The donor meeting focused on the special funding needs of the energy sector – estimated to be in excess of € 325 million over the next two years. Currently, the donor community is already engaged in a variety of projects in Kosovo with commitments in the range of € 200 million.

Addressing the media after the meeting, DSRSG Joachim Ruecker said: “We are very happy about the commitments made at today’s meeting. They are needed in order to have a balanced budget, which is absolutely necessary for fiscal stability.”

Minister of Economy and Finance, Haki Shatri, said: “This is not the first time that the donors are supporting Kosovo. Their assistance is key in taking Kosovo to where it is now and their contributions will continue to help us overcome the challenges ahead.”