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Steering Committee of the Regional Housing Programme (RHP) welcomes sustained progress and donor support

29 November 2017

RHP 11th meeting of Steering CommitteeParis – The 11th meeting of the Steering Committee of the Regional Housing Programme (RHP) and the 15th meeting of the RHP Fund Assembly of Donors took place on 29 November 2017 at the CEB’s headquarters in Paris.

The RHP governance bodies convened in order to take stock of the progress of RHP and discuss future priorities. With nearly 3 000 vulnerable families provided with a housing solution at end-2017, the stakeholders jointly expressed their satisfaction with the current progress. RHP donors also confirmed their sustained support by making several new pledges to the RHP Fund in 2017.

CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel congratulated the partner countries on the impressive results of the programme so far. The outlook for 2018 is equally positive, as a further 3 000 housing units are expected to be delivered to vulnerable families. He insisted that vulnerability remains the key criterion of beneficiary selection, and reaffirmed the CEB’s full commitment to the programme.

On behalf of the European Commission, the main RHP donor, Colin Wolfe, Head of Unit for Western Balkans Regional Cooperation, highlighted that the impact of the RHP goes beyond the housing of displaced persons and refugees in a number of ways. Importantly, due to the large scale of construction and re-construction under the RHP, the programme has an important impact on the local economy through the creation of jobs and the development of skills. In addition, central as well as local authorities gain valuable experience in managing complex social programmes.

Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, delivered a joint statement by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, reaffirming their continued commitment to the RHP. In the statement, the partner countries highlighted the unique character of the RHP in the region and worldwide as a post-conflict reconstruction programme. The RHP is also making an important contribution to addressing poverty reduction, social inclusion and economic empowerment as well as supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia in their EU accession process.

The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) was set up to provide durable housing solutions to vulnerable refugees and displaced persons following the 1991-1995 conflicts on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The RHP is implemented by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia and mostly financed by the international donor community. The main donor is the European Union. The other donors are the United States of America, Germany, Norway, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Turkey, Luxembourg, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and the Slovak Republic.

RHP info desk:  Secretariat of the Regional Housing Programme ceb-rhp[at]coebank.org