US Reinforcements Arrive in Albania

PREPARATION–Major Roland Sewell (white shirt) speaks with government and community representatives in preparation for Salvation Army assistance.


The Salvation Army’s team in Albania now consists of 12 people since the arrival of Lt. Mike McKee, Major Robert Poff and Jerry Larsen from the Central Territory. The newcomers brought more than manpower, however. The plane on which they arrived also contained two large mobile canteens with sleeping areas and two trailer kitchens which can be set up under their own tents, also provided by USA Central.

Two of the newly arrived canteens will go straight into action as the Army begins work in Korce, in southern Albania. The town has been inundated with refugees who were moved out of camps in Macedonia. The Army was made aware of the great need in the town through contacts with the Dutch relief agency DORKAS.

Initially, the Army is setting up a kitchen at a poultry factory where 200 refugees are living. Meals will also be taken from there to the 80 people housed in a sock factory. A tent camp which has been set up in the area will eventually hold 6,000 refugees, many of whom are currently living with Albanian families.

The first 800 refugees are moving in today and the Army is ready to provide them with meals. Food will also be taken to the needy in the town itself.

In the long term the camp will use the ‘cluster’ system, with family feeding/cooking units within each cluster. It will take some time to arrange this system, and even when the clusters are set up the Army team anticipates there will be a need to provide meals for vulnerable and isolated refugees like children who have been separated from their families.

After hold-ups at customs, the two Toyota Hi-Lux four-wheel-drive vehicles (paid for, along with a DAF truck, with funding from the Netherlands Territory) have arrived safely. The Netherlands has also agreed to fund a feeding program, at a cost of more than £163,000.

Kevin Sims- Int. Communications, IHQ

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