On 11.04.2017, Mayors and heads of six municipalities/cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a protocol on cooperation with Hilfswerk Austria International, marking the start of implementation of the project "Provision of sustainability assistance to IDPs and returnees and supporting UNHCR in data management".
The project that UNHCR is funding with 2.5 million KM, will help local authorities to solve the remaining obstacles in finding solutions for displaced persons and refugees in line with the revised objectives of Implementation Strategy of DPA Annex VII and improvement of quality of life of their fellow citizens, said Francesca Bonelli, deputy Regional UNHCR representative for South Eastern Europe.
Suzana Jašarević, director of Hilfswerk Austria International for Bosnia and Herzegovina stated that the project will strengthen the capacities of local communities to detect the needs of displaced persons and returnees, updated heir databases and directly assist the economic sustainability of at least 260 families with allocation of grants for self-employment in the areas of Čapljina, Lukavac, Doboj, Kotor Varoš, Novi Grad and Bihać, and another 22 families from other municipalites who will be identified as priorities. “Strengthening capacities of local communities to take more active part in processes of data collection for families in need, and drafting of projects that would improve economic environment for this category is of key importance for permanent and sustainable solutions for displaced persons and returnees”, Jašarević added.
Mayors, heads of municipalites and representatives of Bihać, Doboj, Čapljina, Lukavac, Kotor Varoš and Novi Grad have recognized the importance of support they were given by this project and they expressed readiness to work on development on their capacities within the defined programme activities, with the aim of improving the living conditions of their fellow citizens – displaced persons and returnees and their families. “A project such as this one helps us as well to be reminded of our obligations towards the vulnerable categories and to show our determination to continue solving problems that affect returnees and displaced persons, using all available resources”, Edin Delić, Mayor of Lukavac emphasized.
The teams from local communities continue with two day training programme on project cycle management and project preparation that will directly strenghten tha capacities of local communities to access donor funds in the future in a competitive and successful way.