As a consequence of the armed conflicts in the 1990s, over three million people were displaced both within and beyond the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Over the past two decades, sustained efforts on the part of the four affected states, as well as support from the international community, have enabled the majority of those affected to return home or find other durable solutions. However, despite these efforts, almost half a million people remain displaced throughout the region.

The process of selecting beneficiaries is a crucial element of the RHP. Its purpose is to ensure that RHP housing units are provided to those refugees and IDPs that are most vulnerable and most in need. Potential beneficiaries are informed about the RHP thanks to the wide information campaigns conducted by the Partner Countries since March 2013, in close coordination with UNHCR and OSCE

Beneficiary stories

The stories of RHP beneficiaries below aim at capturing the reality of refugee families who have lived in tents and containers, moved from one relative to another, or managed to build at least some kind of a roof over their heads, during the past two decades. Some of the pictures are kindly provided by the UNHCR.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Beneficiary Story of Janja Pirel, Hadzici, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Republic of Croatia

Beneficiary Story of Dusan and Branka Janjic, Sljivovac, Croatia

Montenegro

Story of Laura Buca Sota, Berane, Montenegro

Republic of Serbia

Beneficiary story of Tanja and Dusko Krajisnik, Loznica, Serbia

Story of the Jovic family, Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rusmira Osmic, Zagreb, Croatia

Semsija Gasi, Konik, Podgorica

Story of Veselka Corokalo, Zrenjanin, Serbia

Sehic family, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Vojvodic family, Benkovac, Croatia

Arben Ajvazi, Konik camp, Podgorica, Montenegro

Beneficiary story of Milijana Petrovic, Ub, Serbia

Karamujic family, Ilidza, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Read more stories from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Slavka and Janko Ivanisevic, Knin, Croatia

Read more stories from Croatia

Bulatovic family, Berane, Montenegro

Read more stories from Montenegro

Jovicic family, Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia

Read more stories from Serbia

Videos

Categories of Beneficiaries Eligible for Support

The following priority categories have been identified by the Partner Countries, together with the UNHCR:

I.

All 1991-1995 refugees, regardless of their status, who are residents of collective centres or other forms of collective accommodations, either formal or informal.

IV.

Displaced persons accommodated in collective centres and private accommodations in Croatia.

II.

All 1991-1995 vulnerable refugees accommodated privately and all former occupancy right holders without a durable solution in their country of origin or reception country. For the purpose of the Regional Housing Programme, the vulnerability criteria applied by UNHCR in countries in the region are also to be applied here.

V.

Vulnerable displaced persons outside collective centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

III.

All vulnerable returnees to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and all vulnerable returnees who have already returned to Croatia but who do not have a durable solution either in the country of origin or in the reception country.

VI.

Vulnerable persons displaced in Montenegro in 1999. This was especially agreed by the participating countries given that the Regional Housing Programme in other countries deals only with 1991-1995 refugees.

Beneficiary Story of Janja Pirel, Hadzici, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Janja Pirel was born in Hadžići, near Sarajevo, in 1947. When she was 18 years old she got married and had two children. She lived in her house with her husband and their two children, between 1973 and 1992. While trying to get away from the war in Sarajevo, Janja and her family fled to Croatia where they lived until eight years ago...

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Beneficiary Story of Dusan and Branka Janjic, Sljivovac, Croatia

Dusan was born in the small village of Sljivovac, in the municipality of Vrgin Most, Croatia. He lived with his parents and siblings in an old family house surrounded by a big forest, up in the hills of Sisak-Moslavina County. In his 20s, Dusan left for Germany and worked there as a construction worker for a couple of years. When he returned, he got married and started a family of his own, but continued sharing the old house with his parents...

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Story of Laura Buca Sota, Berane, Montenegro

Laura is a young single mother of two schoolchildren, who came from Klina, Kosovo, in 1999 with her parents and siblings. Since then she has been living in a collective centre in Berane, built by UNHCR in 1995 as a temporary solution for refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia...

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Beneficiary story of Tanja and Dusko Krajisnik, Loznica, Serbia

Tanja and Dusko Krajisnik were already married when they fled their hometown of Zenica in 1992 after the war broke out. Dusko went to Prijedor, while Tanja went to Zvornik together with their four-year-old daughter Maja. After spending several war years apart, they reunited in Loznica which has been their home over the last twenty years and the place where their son Marko was born...

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Story of the Jovic family, Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pero and Mira Jovic are refugees from Croatia who have integrated in the local community of Trebinje, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After coming to Trebinje they had a daughter and a son. Throughout their years as refugees, they had been looking for adequate accommodation...

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Rusmira Osmic, Zagreb, Croatia

Rusmira came to Zagreb from Zvornik, a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with her parents and two siblings. They had to leave their big house with a garden in 1992, when they were forced to flee – together with hundreds of their compatriots. Her family was transferred together with their neighbours to Tuzla, where they spent 10 days in a school, sleeping on the floor and without any information about their eldest brother, who had disappeared earlier...

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Semsija Gasi, Konik, Podgorica

Semsija Gasi (28) came from Djakovica in 1999 with her parents and has lived through the whole Konik Camp history: first they lived in canvas tents, then in small wooden barracks that they built. In the summer of 2012, a big fire burned down all the existing tents and huts, leaving the Camp tenants without any belongings...

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Story of Veselka Corokalo, Zrenjanin, Serbia

Before the war, Veselka Corokalo lived in the municipality of Kljuc, Bosnia and Herzegovina, with her husband, their two sons and her parents. Her husband worked in a nearby factory while she took care of the household and the children. In addition to their family house where her parents also lived, the Corokalo family had land where they grew fruit and vegetables and raised fowl and cattle...

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Sehic family, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Suad Šehić, together with his wife Halida, sister Šida and two daughters Emina and Jasmina, is a beneficiary of an apartment in the residential building recently constructed in the town of Zenica under the Sub-project BiH3 within the Regional Housing Programme. Suad is an exiled person from Srebrenica who fled to Zenica in 1995...

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Vojvodic family, Benkovac, Croatia

In 1995, Zivko fled with his family from Benkovac, Croatia, his city of origin, to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before the war, they had their own apartment in Benkovac, and Zivko was working as an electrician. In Banja Luka they lived in rented accommodation and he was working as a driver for a textile company...

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Arben Ajvazi, Konik camp, Podgorica, Montenegro

Arben Ajvazi (24) fled with his parents and siblings from Kosovo Polje in 1999 and came to Podgorica, where they settled in one of Konik Camp’s tents. He had one severely ill brother and had to leave school in the third grade, in order to help his family. He remained illiterate until his was 19, when he made a deal with the Red Cross employees working in Konik...

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Beneficiary story of Milijana Petrovic, Ub, Serbia

Milijana Petrovic was born in 1990 in Dvor, Croatia. She was living with her parents in a family house in the nearby village of Zut. She remembers her carefree childhood and the way she liked to play in the backyard with other children from the neighborhood. Her mother was taking care of the household, while her father worked at a transportation company...

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Karamujic family, Ilidza, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kenajid Karamujic was born in 1983 in the municipality of Bratunac, eastern Bosnia. After surviving physical torture during the war, he first fled with his brother to Srebrenica and after that to Tuzla. Kenajid came to Sarajevo in 1999 with the intent to permanently settle there. He attended a secondary school for hearing impaired children where he gained a diploma in auto body mechanic...

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Slavka and Janko Ivanisevic, Knin, Croatia

Janko (68) and Slavka (65) Ivanisevic fled from Knin, Croatia, in 1995 with their two young children and came to Subotica, Serbia, where they found accommodation in a collective centre made of bungalows from the former vacation settlement near the Palic Lake. The family returned from the refuge in 1999 and came to their old house near Knin, rebuilt on the ruins of their devastated family house...

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Bulatovic family, Berane, Montenegro

Dragana Bulatovic came in 1999 from Djakovica (Kosovo) to Berane, with her husband, mother-in-law and five children. They settled in the Berane refugee camp, built by UNHCR in 1995 as a temporary solution for refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Small, two-room houses, built from non-solid material, became the home for some 100 families, refugees from BiH and Croatia, and later, for IDPs from Kosovo...

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Jovicic family, Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia

Branislav fled from Istria, Croatia to Sremska Mitrovica in 1993. Before the war, he used to work on ships and traveled the sea many times, including far away destinations like Panama and Chile. Since the beginning of the war, he lived as a tenant in and around Sremska Mitrovica, moving between apartments and temporary jobs several times....

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