Kosovo is one of the poorest countries in Europe; since declaring independence in 2008, however, its uncertain political status still precludes development of the country. Widespread corruption, organized crime and ineffective state administration have a negative impact on Kosovo’s image in the world and therefore also on the potential influx of investment. Industry is not developed in the country and agriculture only to a small extent. Previously developed commerce is complicated by strained relations with Serbia, which does not recognise Kosovo’s independence. At present, over half of Kosovo’s inhabitants are unemployed.
People in Need’s activities in Kosovo have a long tradition. The organization came to the region during the armed conflict in 1998 and provided humanitarian aid to refugees and people affected by the war. During that time, the collection campaign SOS Kosovo also took place in the Czech Republic and awakened great interest among the public. After the end of armed clashes, People in Need focused mainly on the reconstruction of Kosovo schools and health facilities. In 2002, we suspended our activities in Kosovo, but returned to the country eight years later.
The organization’s present activities are aimed at the most vulnerable groups of inhabitants. This involves working with organisations for the blind and deaf, activities in the area of rights for people with mental disabilities and the support of inclusive education for children from minorities.