War in the Balkans: Readers donate over pounds 600,000

READERS ARE encouraged to continue to send in contributions to The Independent's appeal to help the refugees of Kosovo after aid agencies' warnings about the worsening conditions.

The total raised by The Independent's appeal is now more than pounds 610,000 but more is needed. "Donations are still coming in but at a slower rate than before," warns a spokesman for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). The committee is co-ordinating a series of appeals for the refugees of Kosovo, including that of The Independent.

The most serious problems involve conditions for local communities in Albania, Macedonia and Montenegro who are hosting Kosovo refugees. More than 600,000 have fled Kosovo and a large proportion of them are living with host families or in local community buildings. Increasingly common are reports of families of ten allowing 40 refugees or more to live in their two-room house.