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UNHCR welcomes Serbian refugee plan

Briefing notes

UNHCR welcomes Serbian refugee plan

31 May 2002

UNHCR welcomes the adoption by the Serbian government yesterday (Thursday) of a detailed plan, which sets a blueprint for resolving Serbia's huge refugee and displacement problems. Serbia hosts one of the Balkans' largest groups of people uprooted by the conflicts of the 1990s. The plan includes a number of measures, some designed to speed up repatriation of Serbs who fled from Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo and others meant to enable those unable or unwilling to back to remain in Serbia and integrate with the local population.

UNHCR will continue to help the Serbian government in trying to resolve its population displacement problem - a huge burden on the country's ailing economy and weakened infrastructure. UNHCR has built some 1, 400 housing units in both rural and urban areas and provided new homes and job opportunities for about 7,000 refugees who applied for Yugoslav citizenship. However, a much larger international effort will be needed to make the refugee integration plan work.