Keys to the apartments were handed over to 20 refugee families in Bajina Bašta on 7 December 2019, within the Regional Housing Programme. The total value of the construction works stood at 363,426.78 EUR while the municipality of Bajina Bašta provided the construction land and supporting infrastructure.
The EU is by far the largest donor to the RHP, with EUR 234 million pledged from the Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), or the 82% off all donations. Within the RHP, in all partner countries close to 4 900 families had received a housing solution by end-June 2019. A further 1 700 units are expected to be delivered in 2019, followed by 3 200 units in 2020 and 2 000 units in 2021. So far, Serbia has been awarded the largest share of grants, and only the last grant within the SRB9 sub-project amounted to 22 million EUR. Commissariat for Refugees and Migration is the lead institution for the Programme implementation in Serbia.
The hand-over ceremony was, among others, attended by EUD representative Mr Enrico Visentin, Mr Veljko Odalović, General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Radomir Filipović, President of the Municipality of Bajina Bašta, Mr Vladimir Cucić, Commissioner for Refugees and Migration and Ms Aleksandra Đorđević, representative of the UNHCR.
On behalf of the Delegation of the EU to Serbia, Mr Enrico Visentin expressed great pleasure and honest joy for families moving to their new homes. However, the RHP brings not only housing solutions to the refugees from the wars in ex-Yugoslavia, but it also fosters regional cooperation by successfully addressing the issues of common concern, which makes the Programme unique. Additionally, Mr Visentin praised the families for their patience and commitment towards better future and stated that the EU is more than happy to contribute alongside with other donors.
Everyone present wished happiness to the refugee families and planted trees as a symbol of the bright future to come.