Serbia: EU provides €3.5m for refugees, IDPs

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Belgrade, 24 Feb 2011 - State Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy Zoran Martinovic said today that the population of 210,000 internally displaced persons and 70,000 refugees in Serbia is greater than in all other countries in Europe.

At a presentation of the project "Improvement of living conditions and employment rights of refugees and displaced persons in Serbia," Martinovic stressed that the aim of the project is to help municipalities in solving the problems of refugees and internally displaced people.

He pointed out that the Law on social protection is expected to be adopted in the second half of March, which stipulates additional RSD 2.7 billion for the disadvantaged.

Commissioner for Refugees Vladimir Cucic said that 15 out of 42 refugee and IDP centres will be closed this year, adding that over the last three years the EU donated €22.4 million for resolving existential issues of this population.

EU representatives in Serbia announced non-refundable assistance of €3.5 million for refugees and IDPs through a one-year project which will improve the living standard of around 300,000 people in Serbia.

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Vincent Degert stressed that it is the duty of everyone to help, because it is a fact that even 16 years after the wars there are still refugee centres.