EU pledges fund to rebuild Kosovo

Kosovo's population is one of Europe's youngest

The European Union has pledged 500m euros ($789m, £400m) to help rebuild Kosovo at an international donors conference in Brussels.
Kosovo is seeking to raise a total of 1.5bn euros ($2.4bn, £1.2bn) to improve infrastructure, energy and employment.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February after nine years as a UN protectorate.
The EU enlargement commissioner said the donation was a tangible commitment to stability in Kosovo.
"Kosovo is a profoundly European matter," Olli Rehn said.
"The EU is ready to use all instruments to help Kosovo realise its European perspective."
A substantial portion of the total sum is expected to meet Kosovo's share of the Yugoslav debt it inherited from Serbia on declaring independence.
World bank bid
Over the last 10 years, some $5bn has been pumped into Kosovo and there are expectations that it may take another decade to transform it into a viable state, says the BBC's Oana Lungescu in Brussels.
Kosovo's Finance Minister Ahmet Shala said it was working hard to combat corruption.
"We, as a new state, we will ensure you that any penny, any cent will be handled properly... Kosovo is moving in the right direction to fight corruption as well as to improve its capacities for financial management," he said.
More than 40 countries now recognise Kosovo - but Serbia, backed by Russia, seeks to keep it out of international bodies that could offer more funding.
Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said on Friday that Kosovo had applied for membership of the the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
If its bid is successful it would both boost Kosovo's recognition as an independent state and provide a source of much-needed funds and development loans.