Spring brings new homes for Serb refugees from the 90s

Photo credit: RHP
Photo credit: RHP

Thanks to Norway and other donors, more than 5,000 vulnerable persons have got decent housing for the first time after the Yugoslav wars.

On 21 April, a foundation stone has been laid in Kikinda, Northern Serbia, for the construction of home for 25 families who were forced to escape from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia during the Yugoslav wars.

In addition to Kikinda, construction sites have been opened in seven cities across Serbia: Sremska Mitrovica, Bajina Basta, Paracin, Krusevac, Prokuplje, Vrsac and Sabac. 

This project is part of the sub-project SRB2, which aims at providing housing solutions to 870 vulnerable RHP beneficiary families in Serbia. The entire sub-project is worth EUR 13 million. 

Although RHP is primarily a donor-funded programme, the partner countries also participate with national contributions. The European Union is the main donor while The Kingdom of Norway contributed EUR 5.5 million to the RHP Fund in November 2012 and EUR 1.5 million in 2017.

According to the RHP Annual Report, 2017 was a record year in terms of deliveries: altogether some 5,000 vulnerable persons were provided with access to decent housing. In all, since 2014, the RHP has enabled 8,100 persons who had been displaced since the armed conflicts in the 1990s to gain access to dignified housing conditions.

In a joint statement, the RHP Partner Countries reiterated their continued commitment to the RHP and highlighted the Programme’s uniqueness as a post-conflict reconstruction programme both in the region and worldwide.

As more and more vulnerable families access a housing solution in their places of origin or displacement, more emphasis is being put on the sustainability prospects of the beneficiaries. In 2017, the RHP stakeholders agreed to analyse what gaps exist in terms of access to services, rights, etc. for RHP beneficiaries, and how and by whom they could be addressed.

In 2018, implementation is expected to further accelerate: the Programme should deliver housing to 9,000 persons, almost twice as many as in 2017.