PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Several organizations pledged millions of euros (dollars) Wednesday to cover Kosovo's budget deficit.
The European Commission, the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development indicated they would contribute up to euro56 million, or about US$68 million, to cover the expected budget deficit in 2006 and 2007, a U.N. statement said.
Kosovo's budget is euro700 million (US$852 million) and its 2006 budget deficit is expected to amount to up to euro50 million, or about US$61 million.
Joachim Ruecker, the head of U.N.'s economic sector, said the commitments made "are needed in order to have a balanced budget, which is absolutely necessary for fiscal stability," according to the statement.
The province of 2 million is the poorest region in the Western Balkans. It became an international protectorate, run by the United Nations and NATO-led peacekeepers, in 1999 after a NATO air war ended a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.