Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service Statements
Monday, 14 October 2019. PDF Print E-mail
Contracts on the delivery of construction material handed to refugee families in Grocka
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Speech by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs at the event of handing fifteen contracts on the delivery of sets of construction material to refugee families in Grocka under the Regional Housing Programme in the Republic of Serbia:

"Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

We have gathered here today for a very happy and humane occasion, to deliver 15 packages of construction material to 15 families who will finally after so many years manage to complete the building of or adapt their houses and thus make a more comfortable homes. The wars in the territory of today's Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina brought to the many misfortune, loss of their loved ones and the fleeing of their homes that centuries back were built and guarded by our ancestors so to be ravaged in a very short space of time in the winds of a tragic war.

Today is the day of a new hope, today we celebrate life and survival. That is why we are here. Our state is committed to work on assisting and accommodating all refugees from the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and we are striving to provide assistance to all those in need. The Regional Housing Programme, in cooperation with the Republic of Serbia, has provided funds to meet the housing needs of more than 7,000 refugee families. To date, we can proudly say that we are close to reaching the number of 4,000 housing solutions delivered.

The share of the Republic of Serbia in the Regional Housing Programme totals 31 million euro and mostly concerns the building land and related infrastructure in local self-government units where dwellings are being built for refugees. The dwellings are being built in more than 40 municipalities and towns, and only since the month of April this year we have succeeded in moving in refugee families in ten towns and municipalities at ceremonies organized for the occasion. The aggregate donated and approved funds amount to 134 million euro.

The RHP is financed through donor funds, and the biggest donor is the European Union. The RHP is managed by the Council of Europe (Development) Bank. Serbia's Office of the Commissioner for Refugees and Migration is the leading institution in charge of carrying out the Programme in Serbia while the process of selection of beneficiaries is being implemented in cooperation with local government authorities under the supervision of UNHCR and OSCE. The Public Sector Project Management Unit deals with the technical aspects of the RHP implementation.

I would like on this occasion to thank and welcome in particular President of the municipality of Grocka Zivadinka Avramovic. Also, I welcome our guests and dear friends, representatives of the European Union Delegation, UNHCR and the OSCE Mission to Serbia. My special thanks also go to Mr. Vladimir Cucic, Commissioner for Refugees and Migration who is committedly running the overall programme of providing housing for our compatriots.

Dear friends,

I wish you lots of luck with completing the building and adaptation of your homes. Like I already said on similar occasions, your suffering and hardship are immeasurable and forever etched in your memory. We all together share and bear the burden of past times. We must be united and happy even in sorrow and pain. Only that way will we be able to build a safer future for all our children and for their posterity. From this place, I can say to you with responsibility that the Government of the Republic of Serbia is working hard to achieve this goal.

I wish you good luck and success! Long live Serbia!"