Serbia: Next year RSD 150-200m for new housing for refugees, IDPs

Belgrade, Oct 30, 2008 - Deputy Prime Minister Jovan Krkobabic stated that between RSD 150 and RSD 200 million will be set aside in 2009 for new public housing for refugees and IDPs in Serbia currently living in collective centres which will have to be closed.

Krkobabic told the Beta news agency that additional funds will be set aside from foreign sources and announced that by the end of the government's term people will have been moved from collective centres to proper homes.

He said that currently 6,311 people live in 75 collective centres, of which 17 are in Kosovo-Metohija.

According to him, 40 centres provide three meals a day, seven centres provide only one, whereas 15 centres offer none.

We will gradually move these people into proper housing or build new houses and social flats, stressed Krkobabic, adding that the government must take care of the needs of these people and offer them accommodation in the vicinity of schools and health centres.

He noted that there are 317,000 refugees, exiled persons and IDPs in Serbia and said he hopes that a considerable number of them will be able to return to their original homes.

Krkobabic stressed he will do all he can to return or at least provide compensation for the property lost to these people exiled from former Yugoslav republics and recalled that another problem that must be solved, namely 20,000 people with claims to a Croatian pension and another group of people with similar claims from Slovenia.