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1000s Serbian War Refugees Benefit From UN Housing

Tens Of Thousands Of Serbian War Refugees To Benefit From New Un Programme

Tens of thousands of war refugees and other vulnerable people in Serbia will benefit from a major new housing and social integration programme launched by the United Nations settlements agency and Italy to fill the gap left by major international humanitarian organizations winding down their emergency operations there.

With the UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR) and other agencies ending operations in Serbia, UN-HABITAT is moving into the post-conflict phase to help redress a major constraint in developing sustainable social housing - weak institutions and outmoded shelter and development practices.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with UN-HABITAT Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka in 2002, Italy has provided 15 million euros ($18.6 million) for the Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme in Serbia, which will start in the coming months and run for three years.

The programme involves providing 670 new dwellings for 3,000 of the neediest direct beneficiaries and building institutional capacities for social housing development. In addition, efforts will be made to refugees and displaced people integrate into society and to boost the capacity of local governments in development planning.

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