Ustikolina, 31 October 2017 – An event was organized today in Ustikolina, in the Municipality of Foca in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to mark the successful completion of construction of 9 apartments for refugees and displaced persons, under the RHP sub-project BiH3.
The sub-project BiH3 foresees the construction of a total of 512 new apartments in 19 municipalities throughout the country, including in the Brcko district. The sub-project is advancing well and construction is in progress on 8 locations. 105 apartments will be delivered by the end of 2017. The rest should be finalised in 2018.
The event was hosted by the Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina Semiha Borovac, who stated that „The happiness of the families moving in today is the biggest award for all the joint efforts we have put in this project. The cooperation between the Ministry, the local government and the RHP Donors has resulted in this great success. Up until now, close to 400 housing units have been completed. Until the end of this year, almost 300 new housing units will be built and/or reconstructed. Next year, about 1 000 further homes will be delivered. I appreciate the fact that all of us have realised the crucial importance of sustainable return and I am particularly grateful for the Catholic Relief Services for their efforts in this field.
The Mayor of Foca, Zijad Kunovac, stated: “I am very happy today to be in front of the first building constructed under the RHP in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Providing refugee families with decent living conditions and with assistance for sustainable living is of immense importance. ”
The Head of Political and Economic Section at the EU Delegation to BiH Jan Snaidauf emphasised the EU’s commitment to the Regional Housing Programme and underlined that the EU is here to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina on its road to the European Union and to ensure a better future for its citizens, including the beneficiaries of the Programme. “The EU is here to help. The overall EU assistance to the Regional Housing Programme in BiH up to date amounts to EUR 49 million which will provide durable housing to almost 2 500 households in 72 local communities. At the same time, it is of utmost importance that the recipient municipalities ensure adequate socio-economic conditions in order to facilitate sustainable return of the most vulnerable beneficiaries and their integration into the local communities,” said Snaidauf.
Emphasizing the efforts and dedication of the Lead Institution – the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH and the Project Implementation Units -, which have resulted in the delivery of concrete housing solutions to the most vulnerable beneficiaries, the UNHCR Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe Anne-Christine Eriksson said: “Continuation of the RHP is crucial for BiH and the region in order to contribute in solving the remaining problems of protracted displacement. In that sense, we have to ensure that adequate standards for beneficiary selection and sustainability of provided solutions have been implemented. UNHCR stands ready to assist in these important tasks.”
The Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, Ambassador Bruce G. Berton, added: „It is very important that we delivered today the keys of the new apartments to people who were left without their homes, more than twenty years ago. OSCE will continue to cooperate closely with UNHCR and all the authorities in charge of the several programs, providing help to the most vulnerable people.“
- 1 Nov, 2017
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