Feb 16, 2017
UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton today joined the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Arbr Ademi, Charge d’Affaires Toyokazu Kubota from the Embassy of Japan in Skopje, and the Mayor of Kumanovo, Zoran Damjanovski, in celebrating the reconstruction of the main road in the village of Tabanovce. The cost to repair the stretch of road was USD 173,000.
The local road was severely damaged during the recent refugee and migrant crisis because of the steady traffic of trucks and other heavy vehicles to and from the border reception center, which saw the transit of an estimated one million refugees and migrants in 2015 and early 2016. Thanks to its full reconstruction, the Tabanovce villagers now have much better access to work and school, and humanitarian supplies can be safely delivered to the few remaining residents of the transit center.
Тhe road has been re-designed to ensure proper run-off and reduce the risk of hazardous conditions or flooding during heavy rains. A retaining wall was also built for a nearby school in Sopot to make access safer for local children.
The project was made possible through the generous support of the Government of Japan, which has contributed USD 2.225 million to the UNDP program to support the local communities most affected by the migrant crisis.
The recent transit of refugees through the region has put local public services under pressure, including transport infrastructure, water supply and waste management in the municipalities of Gevgelija and Kumanovo.
“The Government of Japan fully understands that the refugee and migrant crisis poses both humanitarian and development challenges for the host municipalities,” said Toyokazu Kubota from the Embassy of Japan. “Helping this region and people in need is a long-standing priority for us.”
Other efforts covered by the UNDP program include the construction of a new EU-standard landfill and the restoration of a drinking-water pumping station in Gevgelija, a sorting facility for recycling in Kumanovo, and the purchase of heavy-duty waste-management equipment for both municipalities.
“Thanks to the Government of Japan we are working to solve some long-term development challenges that the refugee crisis has brought to light,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “Investments in transport infrastructure, water supply and waste management in the two most-affected municipalities will improve living conditions for more than 200,000 local residents.”