PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The U.S. Agency for International Development has given Kosovo another grant to help the country’s integration into the European Union and Euro-Atlantic institutions, promote its growth and to support the development of democratic institutions, the U.S. Embassy in Pristina said Friday.
The U.S. has invested $2 billion (1.86 billion euros) in Kosovo since 1999, including investments of over $1 billion (934 million euros) from USAID. The $34.7 million (32.4 million euros) is the last Congress-approved installment of agency funds for Kosovo.
“Our USAID programs in Kosovo are all intended to ensure that all Kosovans can access effective and accountable services from their institutions, are empowered to demand accountability for these services, and can thrive through strong economic and democratic opportunities,” U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Jeffrey M. Hovenier said.
Kosovo’s president, Vjosa Osmani, said the government’s agreement with USAID “will contribute to the continuous reduction of corruption and increasing the efficiency in reacting to the citizens’ needs.”
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO conducted a 78-day airstrike campaign against Serbia to stop a bloody crackdown against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. About 13,000 people, mostly ethnic Albanians, died during the 1998-99 war in Kosovo.
Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s independence, but Serbia and its allies Russia and China have not.