Aid Group's Kosovo Airdrops Continue
The airdrops are unusual in that they are being conducted not by a government agency but by a private organization. Like many such aid groups, the International Rescue Committee, or IRC, often receives support from governments or the United Nations for special projects. In the case of the airdrops, the United States Agency for International Development is helping with the costs. But much of the support for the IRC’s work in Kosovo, as in many other places around the world, comes from voluntary donations by private citizens.
Taking extraordinary steps to help refugees is nothing new for the IRC. It has been involved in virtually every major refugee crisis since the exodus from Nazi Germany in 1933. Among many other countries, it has been involved in Hungary, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Sudan and Sierra Leone. The IRC began working in Bosnia in 1991 and has aided refugees there and in Croatia and Serbia. The IRC began operations in Kosovo in 1997.
There are many things that can only be done by governments or international agencies like the United Nations. But so long as wars and human rights abuses force people to flee their homes there will also be a need for independent aid groups like the International Rescue Committee. And as they have always done, such groups will rely on voluntary donations for their support.