The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today said they would work with Microsoft and its partners, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Securit World Ltd. and ScreenCheck B.V. to deliver computer support for urgently needed refugee registration in Albania.
More than 400,000 Kosovars have crossed the border into Albania over the past six weeks, in the largest refugee exodus in Europe since the Bosnia war. The majority of them have been stripped of all identification. Many have been separated from their families.
The new registration system will provide relief agencies with a critical tool for quickly registering refugees, for issuing new identification documents, and facilitating the reunification of separated families. The UNHCR said the first phase of the registration will begin on May 17th while the final phase, including issuance of identity cards, will commence in early June.
Using this system, refugees will be registered and their details entered into a database. They will immediately be issued official photo identification cards. The database will serve as a tool to help aid agencies on the ground. It will facilitate the distribution of relief supplies and will assist in searching for and reuniting separated families. It is expected that over 400,000 refugees will be registered using the system. The registration kits will include laptop computers, digital cameras, specialised ID card printers and other hardware and software applications designed especially for this project. The systems are expected to be on site and operational in early June. Data collection points for registration will be established throughout Albania.