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UNMIK Calls for a Common Approach to Housing Repairs and Reconstruction for the Year 2000

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Press Release UNMIK/PR/137
Pristina - On Thursday, 13 January, UNMIK held a meeting of the various international donors and agencies involved in the efforts to repair and reconstruct houses in Kosovo. At the meeting, UNMIK strongly urged those present to adopt a common approach to the housing rehabilitation effort, so as to make the best use of limited levels of assistance and implementation capacity available for the year 2000.

In adopting a common approach, UNMIK recommended that agreements be reached in terms of: the beneficiary selection criteria; common standards of rehabilitation; defining a mechanism(s) for implementation of donor-assisted rehabilitation programmes; and, overall coordination.

Beneficiary selection criteria: In identifying households in need of assistance, the beneficiary selection process should combine the level of financial, material and human resources available to the household, together with the availability of a house and the level of damage inflicted. The selection criteria should also include an assessment of the urgency of the situation of each household. UNMIK further recommends that the accountable local structures carry out the actual selection based on centrally agreed criteria for beneficiary selection.

Common standards of rehabilitation: While the level of assistance to households will differ from case to case, common standards of rehabilitation should be adopted. A possible standard for targeted households may be one involving sufficient materials and labour input for the primary rehabilitation of a floor space equivalent to 75 square metres. Primary rehabilitation has been tentatively defined as the permanent repair or reconstruction of the roof and external walls (including windows and door) and one internal room per targeted household.

Implementation: A number of approaches may be taken to implementing donor assisted rehabilitation programmes. While UNMIK does not propose to prescribe any single implementation mechanism, the emphasis must be on flexibility and maximum control by the beneficiaries with the maximum participation of their wider communities, UN agencies, NGOs, municipal authorities, local craftspeople and private contractors.

Coordination: Given the widespread nature of the housing sector and the number of local and international institutions involved, good coordination at the central as well as the local level are critical to the success of the 2000 programme. Coordination at the local level should lie with the municipal administrators, with technical assistance from the regional administration.

Additional discussions on the subject of the adoption of a common approach to housing repairs and reconstruction are planned in the very near future

For information only - not an official record

Contact UNMIK Press and Information Office - (381-38) 500-223, ext. 4013 or 4016