Within the European Union assistance for flood relief in Serbia, the keys to new homes have been delivered to tenants of newly constructed residential block in Vladicin Han, local community Prekodolce on 26th April 2017. Nine Roma families, beneficiaries of social assistance, whose homes were destroyed by floods and landslides will move from containers into new homes equipped with furniture and household appliances.
Programme Manager of the EU Delegation to Serbia Ms. Maja Vuckovic-Krcmar said that the European Union had reacted swiftly following the May 2014 floods. The funds invested in flood relief projects came directly from EU tax payers and were distributed to Serbia through Instrument for Pre-Accession funds. As the major donor, the European Union provided 172 million Euros for the reconstruction in Serbia. The first donations beneficiaries received already in August 2014.
“We can say” said Vuckovic-Krcmar, “that we have done a tremendous job and we are more than happy with the results. This particular solution for Vladicin Han was an exception, as the floods here occurred in January 2015. Even though we had to follow strict bureaucratic procedures, the Delegation of the EU and the organization Help, which is very active and doing a good job in the south Serbia, have managed to integrate these people into the EU flood relief programme.
The Vladicin Han Municipality sets an example of how a humane and significant project can be implemented with an active assistance and the local administration support thus illustrating the work of the European Union and its Delegation throughout Serbia.
Another example of social housing is in Obrenovac, where we have built a building for social housing for 32 families, where Roma families as well were very well integrated. I hope that you here too will be satisfied and that you will enjoy your new homes” said Vuckovic-Krcmar.
With the coordinated EU Delegation and Help assistance, along the focused efforts by the local self-government, through securing the construction lot and local infrastructure connections, as well as the support provided by the Centre for Social Welfare and a health mediator, basic conditions were created for a decent life of these vulnerable families who now have a chance for a new beginning.
The State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Vladimir Ilic expressed his gratitude to the European Union and Help for joint efforts and added that this project was very important, especially having in mind that it regarded socially vulnerable members of the community. Ilic emphasized that the Government of the Republic of Serbia, social institutions and civil society are all on a shared mission, adding it takes a step further in order to help the socially vulnerable to overcome their difficulties and become equal members of the society.
President of the Municipality of Vladicin Han, Goran Mladenovic presented Letters of Appreciation to the EU Delegation and Help for their assistance for flood relief and expressed satisfaction with the results achieved. “I would like to thank the European Union, Help and the Ministry of Labour for being sensitive to the problems of flood affected families. Each invested dinar can be seen in the new homes of these nine Roma families” said Mladenovic.
Help Regional Coordinator Klaus Mock said that the construction of residential units for social housing, supported by the EU, was another example of good cooperation and targeted assistance provided to those in need, which is in line with the joint mission of all partners. “We used an empty space to construct a functional housing block and provide homes equipped with furniture and appliances, passageways and children’s playground. The total value of the investment into this local community, which includes the construction of prefabricated houses, furniture and household appliances, exterior – passageways, fence, green area and children’s playground, amounts to 208.088,00 Euros” said Mock.
A part of the EU assistance for flood relief in Serbia programme, implemented by organisations ASB, DRC and Help, is focused on the construction and reconstruction of private homes, support to micro and small companies and farmers affected by the floods.
The European Union Assistance for Flood Relief in Serbia programme is a 78-million Euros Programme funded by the European Union. The overall objective of this action is to contribute to the efforts of the Government of Serbia to support the municipalities to restore living and working conditions, through the construction of new homes, the reconstruction of public institutions, private homes and roads and the revival of economy and agriculture in 43 municipalities hit hardest by the floods: Aleksinac, Arandjelovac, Bajina Basta, Boljevac, Gornji Milanovac, Ivanjica, Jagodina, Kladovo, Knic, Knjazevac, Koceljeva, Kosjeric, Kovacica, Kraljevo, Krupanj, Lazarevac, Loznica, Majdanpek, Mali Zvornik, Medvedja, Negotin, Novi Beograd, Obrenovac, Osecina, Paracin, Pozega, Sjenica, Smederevska Palanka, Surdulica, Svilajnac, Svrljig, Sabac, Sid, Ub, Uzice, Valjevo, Vladicin Han and Zajecar. Seven partners are implementing the Programme – the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the World Bank (WB), the Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V (Help), Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland e.V (ASB) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) – in cooperation with the Government of Serbia’s Office for Public Investment Management (PIMO) and the European Integration Office (SEIO).