War in the Balkans: pounds 200m needed for crisis, says UN

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THE INDEPENDENT is appealing to readers to help refugee victims of the war in Kosovo, which has triggered the biggest humanitarian disaster in Europe since the Second World War.

In excess of pounds 630,000 has already been donated but much more is needed, say the leading aid agencies. According to the UN, more than $300m (pounds 200m) is required to deal with the crisis. More than 600,000 Albanians have now fled their homes and most of them are destitute.

Impoverished neighbouring countries are overwhelmed by the human tide of misery and long columns of cold, distraught people with virtually no possessions trying to cross borders where they face an uncertain future.

The British aid organisations at the forefront of the international relief operation say that they need a massive injection of funds to alleviate the plight of the refugees and to provide food, shelter and warm clothing.

To make a donation, please send a cheque or postal order payable to the Disasters Emergency Committee, PO Box 2710, London W1A 5AD. Or you can call 0990 22 22 33 to make a credit card donation.