UN-HABITAT has also been working in the region more broadly, through its assessment of the housing sector in Serbia and Montenegro. This assessment has provided the basis for greater support by UN-HABITAT in Serbia in the form of a Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme. The objectives of this programme are to develop local and republic-wide capacities to deal with refugee integration and to improve living conditions for refugees through promotion of sustainable housing and social and economic integration.
Building cross-border linkages is of crucial importance to reduce ethnic tensions and make headway towards long term peace and stability in the region. In this regard, a project identification was undertaken in 2003 both in Southern Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to strengthen local capacities to undertake strategic urban development planning at municipality levels. In Croatia, UN-HABITAT finalized a project formulation at the end of 2003 that looks at strengthening local governments for enhanced administration and development capacity.