Danish Refugee Council Activities in Serbia and Montenegro
- Longstanding displacement experience in the region with specific focus on housing solutions
- Regional set up and approach in the Western Balkans
- Integrated / multi-sector programmatic approach
- Active participation and self-empowerment of the target groups/refugees
- Accountability: clear and transparent procedures
DRC has been implementing programmes in Serbia and in Montenegro since 1993, and is one of the most experienced international NGOs in the two countries. DRC has implemented programmes within social rehabilitation, education, vocational training, capacity building, income-generation, shelter construction, repatriation to Croatia and return to Kosovo, as well as emergency response programmes in terms of relief aid distribution and psycho-social assistance. DRC actively supports regional networking and capacity building of local civil society organisations, with the special emphasis on refugees and IDPs assisting NGOs and CBOs, as well as associations of beneficiaries.
DRC in Serbia and in Montenegro has the advantage of its regional presence, and it is specifically important in cases where beneficiaries opt for repatriation/return.
Presently, DRC operations in Serbia and in Montenegro are coordinated from the Head Office in Belgrade, with offices in Kragujevac as well as in Podgorica, Montenegro. DRC also has a network of partners located in various locations in both Serbia and Montenegro.
At present DRC supports the whole spectrum of durable solutions - local integration, return/reintegration, legal aid - through the following sectors of intervention:
- Housing Solutions and Small Scale infrastructure
- Social & Economic Re/Integration (IGA, Return Packages, Social and Medical Support)
- Technical assistance to Central and Local institutions/ NGO Capacity Building
- Legal expertise - access to rights, personal documents, property law, antidiscrimination
- Protection and Advocacy on behalf of persons of concern
Serbia is hosting the largest displaced population in Europe
Several years have passed since the end of the conflicts that affected the countries and the populations of the Former Yugoslavia, but various unresolved issues are still affecting the stability and prosperity of the region.
Serbia, a candidate for the EU membership, is still hosting the largest displaced population in Europe and it was proclaimed one of 5 countries worldwide affected by a protracted refugee crisis. A total number of 70.550 refugees from Croatia and BiH and 210,146 IDPs from Kosovo are still currently displaced in Serbia. In Montenegro there are still 9,367 DPs from Kosovo and 3,120 refugees from BiH and Croatia.
Further, according to the Serbian Ministry of Interior since the abolition of visa regime more than 4000 citizens of Serbia have been returned. Serbia is facing problems in the field of reintegration of returnees under the readmission agreements. Many returnees are extremely vulnerable individuals are in need of basic assistance as housing solutions and livelihood.
The main obstacles faced by the Government of Serbia in searching solutions for the various groups of migrants is the still vulnerable economy in transition, even more aggravated in the current difficult global economic crisis environment.
BPRM - Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Swedish Migration Board