“For the happier and safer future of our children”: 71 displaced families receive new Regional Housing Programme homes in Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade, Serbia, 30 October 2023 – At a ceremony at the Palace of Serbia today, the contracts for 71 purchased Regional Housing Programme (RHP) apartments in the municipality of Belgrade were awarded to refugee families from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.
The RHP will come to an end in December 2023, by which time approximately 11 300 families – or close to 36 000 persons – will have received secure homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia after almost three decades of displacement.
The ceremony was hosted by Nataša Stanisavljević, Commissioner for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia (KIRS), and attended by Milos Vučević, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Serbia; H.E. Emanuele Giaufret, Head of the European Union Delegation to Serbia; Richard Kohli, Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland; Christian Schilling, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Germany; Aleksandar Šapić, Mayor of Belgrade; Soufiane Adjali, UNHCR Representative in Serbia; Zoltan Kubik, representative of the Embassy of Hungary; Augusta Featherston, representative of the OSCE Mission in Serbia; and Dušan Kovačević, Head of the Public Sector Projects Implementation Unit Ltd, amongst others.
Expressing gratitude to all RHP stakeholders who had made the Programme possible, Minister Vučević also conveyed his hope that the RHP beneficiaries would find comfort and security in their new homes. “The Republic of Serbia is our shared homeland, regardless of the challenges faced when coming here,” he said. “Serbia is vast and resilient enough to embrace all of its people.”
On behalf of the EU – the main Donor to the RHP – Ambassador Giaufret also congratulated all RHP beneficiaries. “You are now starting a new phase in your lives,” he said. “I hope that your new homes will provide you with all the warmth and security you deserve.” Pointing out that the RHP had strengthened social cohesion as well as the economic growth of the region, he commended the collaborative efforts of all international partners that reflected a shared dedication to improving living conditions and fostering stability for families in Serbia. “I am sure that we will witness many smiling faces like we have today as we progress towards the completion of the Regional Housing Programme throughout the region,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Rada Milojević, thanked RHP stakeholders on behalf of the other families. “The difficult years are behind us,” she said. “These apartments are for the happier and safer future of our children.”
Finally, Mayor Šapić expressed sincere commitment to assisting long-standing displaced individuals, emphasizing the City of Belgrade’s dedication to providing homes for as many people as possible. “We will do everything in our power to provide as many people as possible with housing units where they can feel at home,” he asserted.
- 30 Oct, 2023
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