“Helping to overcome the legacy of the past”: New RHP homes allocated to 50 refugee and displaced families in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 28 March 2023 – The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) drew another step closer today to its successful conclusion in June 2023, as stakeholders gathered to celebrate the delivery of homes to 50 refugee and displaced families in the settlement of Ada in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This marks one of the final major RHP events to take place in BiH before the Programme closes in June 2023.
In addition to the beneficiaries themselves, the event was attended by Željka Cvijanović, Chairperson of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Sevlid Hurtić, Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Milorad Dodik, the President of Republika Srpska (RS); Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations, Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to BiH; Ognjen Grujic, Head of the Project Department at the Embassy of Norway in BiH; Draško Stanivuković, Mayor of Banja Luka, and Aleksandar Čađenović, Government Liaison Officer at UNHCR, among others.
On behalf of the European Union, the largest Donor to the RHP, Gianluca Vannini reflected on the importance of the Programme, which had delivered close to 2 600 housing units for families in need in BiH: “The RHP is helping to overcome the legacy of the past and open a new chapter in people’s lives as well as in the integration and solidarity of the region,” he said. “It brings the best of the European Union’s cooperation with the Balkans, improving everyday life and raising standards.” He added that the EU had donated EUR 238 million in total within the RHP, and that the U.S. Government had also contributed EUR 24 million, in addition to other Donors who had provided EUR 29.7 million.
Željka Cvijanović also expressed gratitude to the Donors in addition to the BiH institutions. “I am proud that I was able to participate in this Programme, together with other colleagues, for many years,” she added. Minister Hurtić agreed, noting that the apartment building was the largest in the BiH6 sub-project of the RHP, and had been built according to high standards of modern housing construction.
These words were echoed by Mayor Stanivuković, who added that he hoped that the keys delivered that day would symbolise a safer and better future for the beneficiaries in Banja Luka.
The final word was left to one of the beneficiaries, Željka Srdić, who reflected on her family’s good fortune: “We have finally been recognised as a family that deserves a dignified home. We are still shocked!”
- 28 Mar, 2023
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