European Union to give 230 million for returnees, refuges and displaced persons in the Western Balkans

An international donor conference, which is expected to generate funds to address the housing needs of some 74 000 refugees, returnees and displaced persons in the Western Balkans region, took place in Sarajevo on 24 April 2012. 16 years after the conflict, the donor conference aimed to raise up to 500 million Euros for people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Pending the decision of the overall EU budget for the period 2014-2020, the European Union pledged to devote 230 million Euros over the next five years,  which is almost half the amount requested from international donors.

Speaking at the conference, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle welcomed the renewed commitment by all participating states to the Sarajevo Process, which aims to find durable solutions for refugess and displaced persons in the region. “It is a clear sign that the region wishes to leave the past behind, without forgetting it, and move on towards the future, towards its European future, as good neighbours”, Commissioner Füle said.

Proposed housing solutions should be implemented in the next three to five years. UNHCR, and in some countries OSCE, will monitor this crucial stage of closing the refugee displacement chapter.

Documents related to Donor Conference:

Joint Delcaration on ending displacement and ensuring durable solutions for vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons

Joint Regional Programme on Durable Solutions for Refugees and Displaced Persons

Some of the UNHCR’s produced regular TV programme entitled “A Time to Decide” dedicated to refugees and Regional Programme aimed at closing down the refugee chapter in Western Balkans: