Donor meet to seek 500 mn euros for Balkan war refugees
04/20/2012 16:37 GMT
SARAJEVO, April 20, 2012 (AFP) - A donor conference next week will seek some 500 million euros to build homes for 74,000 refugees from the 1990s wars in the former Yugoslavia, Bosnian Refugee Minister Damir Ljubic said Friday.
The international conference in Sarajevo on Tuesday "should give a new enthusiasm to resolve the problem of refugees and displaced people" remaining from the wars in Croatia and Bosnia, Ljubic told reporters.
The funds would comprise the bulk of a joint programme of the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the European Commission, the United States and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to build some 27,000 homes for an estimated 584 million euros ($770 million).
The governments of Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia will together contribute 83 million euros.
"The expected amount should enable us to resolve the biggest part of this humanitarian problem ... that will contribute to reconciliation in the region," said Serbia's ambassador to Bosnia, Ninoslav Stojadinovic.
The main beneficiaries will be the most vulnerable refugees who still live in shelters.
Most of the funds will be spent in Serbia, which became home to a large number of ethnic Serbs after the end of the 1991-95 war in Croatia.
The wars that accompanied the collapse of the former Yugoslavia claimed more than 130,000 lives and forced more than three million people to flee their homes. Some 200,000 people in the region are still refugees.
©AFP: The information provided in this product is for personal use only. None of it may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the express permission of Agence France-Presse.