“The importance of this Programme goes beyond our countries’ borders and proves that regional cooperation and reconciliation can bring solutions to long-term refugee problem in our region”
A ceremony to hand over the contracts for the purchase of village houses to 69 refugee families took place on 27 June at the Belgrade City Hall. These houses are financed under RHP project SRB3 – Support to 715 refugee families in Belgrade.
Mr Ivica Dacic, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and President of the Commission for Coordination of Permanent Refugee Integration of the Government of Serbia, acknowledged that this was the second event in less than four months signalling the increased pace of RHP implementation. He also stressed Serbia’s commitment to the RHP and stated: “The importance of this Programme goes beyond our countries’ borders and proves that regional cooperation and reconciliation can bring solutions to long-term refugee problem in our region.”
During her speech, the Minister without portfolio in charge of European Integration Ms Jadranka Joksimovic expressed her gratitude to “all our donors and partners, who have proved once again that they are willing to provide not only political but also financial support in order to help us bring an end to one of the most difficult periods in our recent history.”
The Commissioner for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia Mr Vladimir Cucic underlined that behind the RHP, “there is an army of invisible people consisting of 122 municipalities and 170 working commisions. In addition to thousands of architects, engineers, lawyers, all have put a great effort into providing these people with houses. I would like to thank them also, in addition to RHP donors and international and local partners involved in the implementation of these projects.”
Mr Andreja Mladenovic, Deputy Mayor of Belgrade, congratulated the City Secretariat for Social Protection on this important achievement. “The City of Belgrade has been working hard to make it happen – we have stared with 50 houses, and today, thanks to donor funds and support, we are handing out the agreements for 69 village houses. And this is only the beginning – by the end of 2016, we will deliver 380 packages of building material, 80 pre-fabricated houses and 505 apartments under the RHP.”
Mr Oskar Benedict, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, said: “Apart from the RHP programme, the EU has since 2000 donated an additional EUR 90 million from the pre-accession funds to assist refugees and displaced people in Serbia. Most of the funding was used to build new houses and apartment building all over Serbia. When we started our assistance in 2000 there were more than 300 collective centres in Serbia. By the end of the year, together with KIRS we will achieve our common vision and goal and close the few collective centres still remaining in Serbia”.
Mr Gordon Duguid, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America said the USA is going to donate another $ 1.1 million for refugees in the region this year.
Mr Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative in Serbia, Mr Michael Uyehara, Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Mr Igor Burazin from the CEB were also present.
- 27 Jun, 2016
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