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Eleven years after the Regional Housing Programme (RHP) Donor’s Conference took place in Sarajevo in 2012, which enabled the launch of the RHP, stakeholders gathered in large numbers in the Parliamentary Assembly building of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) today, to celebrate the successful closure of this landmark Programme in the Western Balkans. The RHP – a joint initiative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia (the “Partner Countries”) provided secure homes to 36 000 most-vulnerable refugees and internally-displaced persons in these four countries following the conflicts in former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. As such, the RHP was the first joint post-conflict initiative between these countries.
Addressing the Conference by video on behalf of the European Union, Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, stated “We are proud of being the biggest donor to the RHP, with EUR 238 million provided, and of its remarkable achievements. It represents the ideals that inspired the creation of our Union: a peaceful, united, and prosperous Europe. This is an extraordinary example of how regional cooperation between countries, institutions, and communities can lead to reconciliation and deliver important results. I am sure that the Regional Housing Programme will serve as an inspiration for others in similar contexts.”
The Programme was financed mainly by the international community, with the European Union the main Donor. Out of the EUR 294 million contributed by Donors, EUR 238 million – or 81% – was provided by the EU. Other RHP Donors were the USA, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Türkiye, Luxembourg, Spain, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and the Slovak Republic. The Partner Countries were supported by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) with respect to implementation and capacity building as well as the management of Donor funds, and UNHCR and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) with regard to beneficiary selection and sustainability aspects.
Photo credits: RHP
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