To mark the handover of the thousandth housing unit in Bosnia and Herzegovina constructed within the Regional Housing Programme, a ceremony was held in Grabovica near Mostar, where the Raič family received the keys to their new home.
“I am thankful to everyone who made this happen. I was born here and I am thrilled to be able to spend the rest of my life here,” said Jozo Raič, who received the keys of the 1,000th housing unit built within the Programme. Raič started building his home in 1989, but had to escape from Grabovica to Mostar. During the last twenty years, the six-member family changed several temporary housings, starting to lose hope their home will ever be reconstructed. Now, following a successful application to the Regional Housing Programme, Jozo is thrilled with the quality of the build and their new home.
“The European Union is the largest donor to the Programme with around 63 million Euro allocated so far to support refugees, displaced persons and returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It helps deliver peace, stability and reconciliation to the region. On behalf of the EU, I am very happy and honored to be in Mostar today to witness the handover of the thousandth house built within the RHP,” noted Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operation Sections for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation of the EU Delegation to BiH. During the official ceremony, Vannini handed out the keys to the new house to the six-member Ćorić family and wished all families happy lives, success and progress in their new homes.
Semiha Borovac, the BiH Minister for Human Rights and Refugees underlined the importance of providing housing to displaced persons and how it contributes to preserving peace and stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. “The Regional Housing Programme has helped us to achieve this. Representatives of four countries came up with the idea of the Programme and we have managed to realize it with the help of our donor. I am happy to see the smiles and the pleasure on the faces of people entering their new homes. They have shown patience and desire to return to their homes and that is truly important,” said Minister Borovac.
Within the framework of the Regional Housing Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by 2021 3.200 housing units will be provided to returnees, internally displaced people and refugees. By the end of 2019, another 500 housing units are to be developed, while the rest will be finalised in the period 2020-2021. The Regional Housing Programme is a joint initiative between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, aiming to contribute to the resolution of the protracted displacement situation of the most vulnerable refugees and displaced persons.