Belgrade, 9 September 2016. First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dacic, together with the other RHP stakeholders, laid today the foundations for the construction site in Ovca, near Belgrade, to mark the start of construction of 235 apartments.
This project, which is part of the sub-project SRB3, is currently the RHP’s largest single construction project that is being implemented in the Partner Countries and will provide housing for refugee families from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia with permanent residence on the territory of the City of Belgrade. It is a part of a larger investment programme in social housing by the City of Belgrade, which also includes a 995 apartment complex as well as other amenities such as childcare facilities, a primary school and a wastewater treatment system.
The construction works started at the end of August this year and should be finalised by October 2017, with a total cost of EUR 9.8 million of which EUR 5.4 million is covered by the RHP Fund. In addition to Ovca, the sub-project SRB3 includes the provision of 80 pre-fabricated houses and 350 building material packages as well as the purchase of 50 village houses in Belgrade. All in all, five sub-projects worth around EUR 94 million are currently being implemented in Serbia, with the objective to provide over 4 700 housing solutions to most vulnerable refugees.
In addition to Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and other Serbian RHP stakeholders, the event was attended by H.E. Michael Davenport, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia and H.E. Kyle Scott, Ambassador of the U.S.A. A large number of Ambassadors and other high level representatives of RHP Donor countries were also present, together with the representatives of the UNHCR, OSCE and the CEB.
Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic emphasised that RHP is one of the biggest donor initiatives in the region, providing housing to refugees in the four Partner Countries, with Serbia being the biggest beneficiary. He also stressed that that this is a non-returnable donation, not a credit, and he thanked once again all the Donors for their support and consideration.
H.E. Mr Davenport reminded media and other participants that until recently, there were doubts that such a big project was possible, but the event today shows that with joint efforts and dedication, even the most ambitious initiatives can be implemented successfully. Mr Davenport confirmed further dedication of the EU to the Programme, the EU being the biggest donor of the initiative.
The Regional Housing Programme is an exceptional example of successful regional cooperation. Today, when Europe is being faced with one of the biggest migrant/refugee crises of its modern history, the RHP can serve as a model of how different countries can adopt a cooperative approach in assisting these groups of population in a humane way.
RHP info desk: Secretariat of the Regional Housing Programme firstname.lastname@example.org
- 9 Sep, 2016
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