Ivan Vickovic, who fled from the war in Croatia in 1995, has now got his home again in Backo Gradiste, near Becej, Vojvodina, after 23 years.
He is one out of twenty refugee families from Becej municipality who got the first proper housing solution after the war. They will all move into their new houses in a month thanks to a Regional Housing Programme (RHP)
Meanwhile, in the municipality of Alibunar, 13 contracts have been signed on the support in construction material for 13 families, Serb refugees from Bosnia and Croatia, who now reside in Alibunar. This is again under the new subphase of the RHP.
RHP is a joint programme of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia (the Partner Countries) founded in a bid to offer durable housing solutions to the most vulnerable refugees and displaced persons after the Balkan wars in the territory of former Yugoslavia. Over three million people were displaced within and beyond the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia as consequence of the wars that severely hit the region.
While over the past two decades the majority of them have returned home or have found other durable solutions thanks to the efforts made by their national governments and through the support of the international community, almost half a million have remained displaced throughout the region without having found any durable housing solution yet.
Although RHP is primarily a donor-funded programme, the partner countries also participate with national contributions. The European Union is the main donor, with a total pledge of EUR 230 million. The Kingdom of Norway contributed EUR 5.5 million to the RHP Fund in November 2012. Other donors include the US, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and other countries. Donors’ contributions are kept in the RHP Fund, which has so far received EUR 159 million and is managed by the Council of Europe Development Bank.
In Serbia, RHP is implemented by the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration and R&D PIU. To date, six sub-projects have been approved for Serbia (total grant amount 104 EUR million) that would provide housing solutions to 5,200 beneficiary families thus improving significantly the living conditions of some 13,000 vulnerable persons.