After 29 years of displacement, an 86-year-old Koviljka Ljepoja can finally enjoy a view from her own balcony. She and her 58-year-old son are among the group of 32 families who received the keys of new apartments in the building constructed under the Regional Housing Programme in Prijedor.
“Thank you so much, thank to everyone who made this happen during my lifetime, to have my own place to live again,” said Ms. Ljepoja.
“This ceremony today is a symbolic end of the long-lasting displacement of these families and a beginning of a new life chapter. Finally, they will have a roof above their heads and suitable conditions for for their integration in the community that received them,“ said Hugues Bissot, UNHCR Head of Protection in BiH, on behalf UNHCR, and the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Hugues Bissot, UNHCR Head of Protection in BiH
Thanks to the Regional Housing Programme, a total of 1.824 housing units were completed – 1292 houses and 532 apartments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The completion of reconstruction and building of remaining approx. 1300 housing units is envisaged in the following two years.
The European Union and donors such as the U.S. and several European countries, fund the 290-million-euro programme, of which 64,5 million euro for sub-projects in BiH to provide approximately 3,200 housing units for more than 10,000 persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the end of the Programme.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been a partner to the programme since it began in 2012.
It works with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to help ensure that the programme reaches the neediest among the displaced and that families can access rights and services such as health, education, social care and employment.