More than half of Kosovo's population lives in poverty, UN reports

More than half of Kosovo's population lives in poverty, UN reports

With more than half of Kosovo's population living in poverty, the province faces several obstacles to further economic growth, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said today in a just-released report.

Though Kosovo has been on the road to recovery and stability since the 1999 conflict, poverty, inequality and, in some cases, corruption, remain serious impediments to development, according to the "Kosovo Human Development Report 2002: Building Bridges to a Better Future."

The report is the first comprehensive study of human development in Kosovo and the first to put these issues in an international context, UNDP says. The study charts human development patterns as well as the economic and social challenges facing Kosovo during the post-conflict transition period.

According to the human development index, Kosovo ranks internationally at a medium level of development, yet more than half the population lives in poverty and 12 per cent lives in extreme poverty.

In order to effectively fight poverty in the region, the report calls for strengthening and making more inclusive democratic institutions and policies, including steps for dealing with discrimination against Kosovo Serbs and other minorities.

"This report will hopefully assist our new decision-makers in charting a development strategy for Kosovo that will translate into real, sustainable progress in human development terms," said Robert Piper, UNDP Resident Representative for Kosovo.