The social development bank for Europe
The Regional Housing Programme marks the delivery of 7 000 homes
20 June 2020
PARIS – The Regional Housing Programme (RHP), a multi-donor initiative managed by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), has marked the delivery of over 7 000 homes to vulnerable persons displaced during the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.
The 7 000 housing units translate into new homes for more than 21 000 people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia, or about 60% of the final RHP beneficiary target. The RHP Steering Committee and the RHP Fund Assembly of Donors, who met online for their 16th and respectively 20th sessions, welcomed the achievement and reiterated the importance of continuous collaboration among all RHP stakeholders for the programme’s successful conclusion.
In his opening statement to the Assembly of Donors, the CEB Vice-Governor Tomas Boček praised the RHP partners for the recent achievement and referred to the programme’s wider impact: “The impact of the RHP extends beyond bricks and mortar - it has also proven to be a successful reconciliation programme. Its experience shows how countries that were once divided by conflict, and that had experienced Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two, were eventually able to find a regional solution.”
The meetings were chaired by Colin Wolfe, Head of Unit in the European Commission (DG NEAR), and Ambassador Guri Rusten, representing Norway. Lesley Ziman, U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary, Anne-Marie Deutschlander, Principal Situation Coordinator for the Western Balkans at the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Europe, and Mark Fawcett, representing the OSCE Secretariat's Conflict Prevention Centre, expressed their commitment to further contributing to the final delivery of the programme and their satisfaction with the progress to date.
A more detailed overview of the two RHP meetings is available here.
The Regional Housing Programme provides housing to vulnerable persons who were displaced during the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and have been living in dire conditions ever since. The Programme targets 11,800 vulnerable families in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It is financed, for the most part, by the international community, with the European Union, represented by the European Commission, as the largest donor.
The CEB helps Partner Countries to implement the Programme, manages donor contributions, and coordinates all stakeholders. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are in charge of monitoring beneficiary selection and sustainability aspects of the RHP.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.