UN-HABITAT this week launched a new 15 million euro social and housing integration programme for tens of thousands of war refugees and other vulnerable people in Serbia with funding provided by Italy.
The programme was launched on Wednesday at a formal ceremony at the National Library in Belgrade attended by Mr. Velimir Ilic, Minister for Capital Investments, Mr. Zoran Loncar, Minister for Public Administration and Local Self-Government, and Mr. Antonio Zanardi Landi, the Italian ambassador in Belgrade.
In January, UN-HABITAT received the first 5.9 million euros from the Italian Goverment to start implementation of the programme which will provide some 670 new homes for 3,000 refugees and vulnerable people. It will also help build institutional capacities for social housing development, assist the social and economic integration of refugees and displaced people, and help boost the development capacity of local governments in their development planning and municipal information systems.
UN-HABITAT, in collaboration with the Ministry of Capital Investments, will be implementing the programme with the Municipalities of Cacak, Kragujevac, Kraljevo, Nis, Pancevo, Stara Pazova and Valjevo.
Known as the Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme in Serbia (SIRPS), it was initiated in a memorandum that UN-HABITAT's Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka signed with the Government of Italy in September 2002. Under its terms, Rome will provide 15 million euros for the programme that will run for three years. For further information see also: http://www.unhabitat.org/kragujevac