Today, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) organised a site visit to the municipality of Olovo to celebrate an important event: the first returnee internally displaced families under the Regional Housing Programme in BiH moved into their newly (re)constructed houses. The Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH Semiha Borovac and Edin Ramic, Minister for Refugees and Displaced Persons in the Federation of BiH, together with several RHP Donors, handed over the keys to the first seven families selected to benefit from the project “Provision of building materials to 20 families and turnkey reconstruction assistance to 150 families”.
The ceremony was attended by a number of representatives from the Donor community, including Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of EU Delegation to BiH, as well as a large number of high level representatives from the Embassies of the U.S., Italy, Switzerland, Romania and Turkey. RHP partners UNHCR, OSCE and the CEB were also present as well as senior representatives of the Lead Institutions of RHP Partner Countries Croatia and Serbia.
Minister Semiha Borovac said: “We are all glad to witness today the result of a long process, which has finally reached this final phase of delivery of keys to the selected beneficiaries. I am especially pleased that this is happening in Olovo, municipality which has suffered a lot during the war. I would like to thank to all our partners from the other three RHP Partner Countries who helped us in the key process of verification of beneficiaries. The RHP represents the best example of regional cooperation, leading to renewal of mutual collaboration and reconciliation amongst the countries”.
Mr Bryan Wockley, Human Rights Officer at the U.S. Embassy, said: “This event today is a turning point for the RHP in BiH. It is symbolizing what can be accomplished by establishing cooperation towards the common goal. The completion of this Programme should be the final effort in order to finally close the famous chapter in this Region”.
UNHCR Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe Andrew Mayne said: “UNHCR is involved in the selection of beneficiaries of the RHP, which is not an easy process. However, in the case of Olovo, there was a very clear agreement on the most vulnerable beneficiaries, showing us that where the needs are clear, and with good teamwork, selection of beneficiaries can be fast and can lead to a better follow up by all partners.”
Mr Stephan Sellen from the CEB concurred with the previous statements and added that RHP should serve as a model and a good example for Europe on how to deal with the current refugee crisis.
Minister Edin Ramic stated: “We can only be happy to witness this event today. I would like to thank all the Donors for the significant funds they donated to BiH”.
In addition, the Mayor of Olovo Mr Djemal Memagic announced that the second RHP phase will be launched in Olovo in August – the start of construction on a building for 14-16 RHP families.
One of the families that moved into a newly constructed house is Family Gendzic. The 5-member family has been living in a dilapidated house until now. The municipality of Olovo has donated the land and the house has been reconstructed thanks to the RHP.
- 12 Apr, 2016
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