The IRC Macedonia team has been working virtually around the clock frantically rushing aid and supplies to refugees stuck in the international buffer zone between Macedonia and Kosovo.
In a phone message sent early (EDT) Monday morning to IRC headquarters in New York, Diane Johnson, deputy emergency coordinator based in Skopje, said all available team members – at the moment, some 20 to 30 people – were moving back and forth between Skopje and the zone with supplies.
In an e-mail message sent at 3 a.m. Sunday local time, Diane said that on Saturday and Saturday night alone, the team had distributed "about 800 kilos of plastic, 800 blankets, two tankers of water, lots of jerry cans, water barrels, and water jugs."
Then, she said, "we took (3) 25-ton trucks and (2) 10-ton trucks of about 6,000 blankets and 3,000 sleeping bags." She also said she was working with UNHCR and NATO to assign three IRC engineers to set up campsites and work on water and sanitation facilities..
"It’s a slow and cumbersome process, but it’s at least getting some supplies in there," Diane said.