It was a fitting New Year present for the residents of Pancevo in Serbia when UN-HABITAT through the Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme (SIRP) unveiled a housing block of 76 units on Tuesday.
At the ceremony, the Vice Prime Minister of Serbia Bozidar Djelic together with the Ambassador of Italy Alessandro Merola officially opened the housing block. SIRP is delivering 670 sustainable housing solutions for refugees and other vulnerable groups and supports the development of national and local capacities in social housing and local development.
In his speech, Ambassador Merola announced the decision of the Government of Italy to further support a regional programme based on concepts developed through SIRP that are relevant for countries with economies in transition.
The Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme (SIRP) is rooted in the 2001 pledge of the Government of Italy to support the sustainable settlement and integration of refugees and vulnerable households in Serbia.
The Government of Italy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UN-HABITAT in September 2002 for the formulation and implementation of the fifteen million Euro project.
At central level, SIRP is executed in cooperation with the Ministry for Capital Investments while at local level it is implemented in seven Municipalities/Cities, jointly selected by the Governments of Serbia and Italy: Municipality of Èacak, City of Kragujevac, Municipality of Kraljevo, City of Niš, Municipality of Panèevo, Municipality of Stara Pazova, Municipality of Valjevo.