War in the Balkans: Readers donate over pounds 500,000

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DONATIONS FROM Independent readers are still pouring in for the Kosovo refugees: more than pounds 500,000 has been raised since the appeal was launched a fortnight ago.

A spokesman for the Disasters Emergency Committee, which is co-ordinating the appeal, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the response ... The money will be used ... for food, blankets, first aid and emergency shelters. It will also help to pay for sanitation and water-purification equipment - vital requirements if the refugee camps are to avoid falling foul of disease."

More than 500,000 Kosovar Albanians have fled or been forced from their homes by Serb "ethnic cleansing" of the province. Many are in camps in Macedonia, others have fled to Albania and thousands of others have been flown to countries in the West.