“With our new apartments, our lives have new meaning”: 36 refugee families receive keys to new RHP homes in Pančevo, Serbia
Pančevo, Serbia, 3 July 2023 – Today, a further 36 refugee families marked a significant milestone in their lives, as they embarked on a new chapter in a place they could call their own. The ceremony marking the delivery of keys to new Regional Housing Programme (RHP) homes was hosted by Nataša Stanisavljević, Commissioner for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia (KIRS), and attended by Aleksandar Stevanović, Mayor of Pančevo; Mirjana Maksimović, Programme Manager at the European Union Delegation to Serbia; Stefanie Krause, UNHCR Deputy Representative in Serbia; and Dušan Kovačević, Head of the Public Sector Projects Implementation Unit Ltd., amongst others.
Opening the event, Commissioner Stanisavljević congratulated the beneficiaries and reflected on the previous RHP achievements. “Thanks to the Regional Housing Programme, which has been implemented in Serbia for more than a decade, 7 162 families have been provided with housing, and it is expected that another 250, who have been waiting for a long time, will shortly receive a roof over their heads,” she said.
With mixed emotions, ranging from joy with his new home, to sadness at the hardships endured, RHP beneficiary Željko Grabundžija thanked all Programme stakeholders on behalf of the beneficiary families. “With our new apartments, our lives have new meaning,” he stated. He additionally expressed hope that all other refugee families would also receive secure homes.
On behalf of the European Union, the main Donor to the RHP, Mirjana Maksimović pointed out the role of the EU in the Programme, and its long-term commitment to resolving housing needs. “It is a long-standing commitment of the European Union to invest in the citizens of Serbia, and it will certainly continue in the future,” she said. “I would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, and all other Donors for their participation in this project and great partnership.”
Mayor Stevanović emphasised that this was a special day for him also, and wished all the tenants long and happy lives in their new homes.
- 3 Jul, 2023
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