May 14, 1999
Release No. 026-99

CONTACT: Kelly Lees,
Theresa Markiw,
PHONE: 202-619-4355

United States Information Agency - News Release

USIA Publishes Kontakti

First Issue of Albanian-language Newsletter Reaches Kosovar Refugees

Washington, D.C. - The U. S. Information Agency's Information Bureau published today the inaugural issue of Kontakti (Contact), an Albanian-language "Operation Allied Force" newsletter that provides Kosovar refugees with news and information updates. Kontakti is a vital part of the Kosovar Refugee Internet Assistance Initiative, a USIA-led public/private partnership helping to address the information and humanitarian needs of Kosovar refugees.

Kontakti will be published regularly and made available on USIA's Kosovo web page. Kontakti will provide stories and information from camps, news about the conflict in Kosovo, details about evacuation efforts to other countries, and details of humanitarian aid and relief. International organizations will use the newsletter to communicate their relief efforts directly to the refugees. Copies of Kontakti will be distributed to Kosovar refugees through each of the interactive information centers being established in Germany, France, Poland, the Balkans, and Fort Dix, New Jersey. The newsletter also will be available in English.

The Kosovar Refugee Internet Assistance Initiative links government agencies, international humanitarian relief organizations, technology companies, and foundations in a coordinated effort to bring refugee communities more than US$500,000 of donated hardware, software, connectivity, and technical support. Kontakti is published with the support of the Markle Foundation in New York, as well as technology donations by Gateway, CISCO Systems, Inc.; RISO, Inc.; and The Document Company Xerox, through the Kosovar Refugee Internet Assistance Initiative.

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The United States Information Agency, headed by Acting Director Penn Kemble, is an independent foreign affairs agency within the executive branch that explains and supports U.S. foreign policy and national security interests abroad through a wide range of information programs. The Agency promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through a series of educational and cultural exchange activities.

USIA's programs include the Voice of America, Radio and TV Mart­, the WORLDNET satellite television system, the daily Washington File newswire, the Fulbright scholarship program, the International Visitor Program, the Speakers and Specialists Program, three Foreign Press Centers in the United States, and a network of overseas resource and cultural centers. The Agency has 190 posts in 141 countries.

The USIA domestic server can be accessed through or through most search engines on the Internet.

United States Information Agency, 301 4th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20547
Tel: (202) 619-4355, Fax: (202) 619-6988

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