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Return and reintegration

Support to durable solutions of the Revised strategy for implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement

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logounhcr-ipaThe project: „Support to durable solutions of the Revised strategy for implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement, worth 8.1 million is funded by the European Union (in the amount of 7 million euro through IPA 2012), and co-funded and implemented by the UNHCR in cooperation with the project partners.

The purpose of this project is to assist at least 2.400 vulnerable displaced persons and refugees in B&H, including the women war victims with finding solutions to social challenges that they are facing, through the joint team work with local authorities, local community, civil society and project partners.

Project partners in cooperation with the local autorities are indentifying the needs od displaced persons and refugees with the aim of strengthening their social protection and inclusion, provision of health protection for the elderly, education for the children, providing of the free legal aid, pshychological and social  counselling and the housing. The project started in 2014 and shall be implemented untill 2016 in the following Municipalities in B&H: Bosanski Petrovac, Gradiška, Prijedor, Derventa, Maglaj, Bijeljina, Brčko Distrikt, Živinice, Mostar and Foča.

Project implementation partners are: UN Development fund (UNDP), UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), International organisation for migrations (IOM), Hilfswerk Austria International (HWA), Bosnian Humanitarian Logistic Service (BHLS), Foundation of local democracy (FLD), and Vaša prava B&H Association (VP).

HWA – Objectives within the project:

-Ensure durable solutions for housing of vulnerable returnee and IDP families and support local integration of displaced persons who are not in the position to return to their pre-war homes.

-Ensure sustainable economic conditions for returnee and IDP families through comprehensive actions adjusted to specific needs of each case individually.

HWA – Main activities of the project:

As a part of project activities in target municipalitites and through construction/reconstruction of housing units, Hilfswerk Austria International  shall support the most vulnerable families with the priority given to those who already returned and live in unbarable conditions and families who are in need of housing/soucial housing in the areas of their displacement. Reconstructed housing units shall be connected to utilities infrastructure.

For the most vulnerable IDP and returnee families with the priority of those whose housing units shall be constructed/reconstructed within the  project Hilfswerk Austria International shall create opportunities for self-employment and income generation through allocation of individual grants and HWA shall support small and medium enterprises with expanding their production capacities with the aim to create new jobs and possibilities to place their products to the market.

HWA – Quantitative and qualitative results of the project

-105 housing units constructed/reconstructed

-Constructed/reconstructed housing units connected to public utilities or adequate substitute solutions provided

-231 individual grants allocated for economic sustainability;

-10 jobs created through the development of 10 small/medium enterprises

 

Project Info Bosnia and Herzegovina (return and (re)integration)

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Fifteen years after the peace treaty of Dayton (DPA), there are more than 113.000 persons still registered as internally displaced (IDPs) in their own country. Some 8.000 still live in collective centres in extreme social vulnerability and non-human living conditions.

A new beginning

Although over 1 million persons have returned to their place of origin, a substantial number of internally displaced persons and returnees remain in a fragile situation, lacking dignified conditions, and require support to obtain a durable solution. Without support by international community, return to homes and durable human living solutions in dignity are not possible.

Hilfswerk Austria International has been offering humanitarian aid in Bosnia since 1992. Since 1996, the aid workers devote their efforts to the most sensitive part of the DPA: The reconstruction according to the criteria of the “minority return”, that is mainly for refugees who lost their homes in the armed conflict from 1992 to 1995 because they were members of the “ethnic minority”. All complex projects are prepared and proposed by HWA team from BiH, and are carried out by BiH companies and suppliers. Strict controls by the HWA monitors, by independents Austrian auditors, and the EU and other partners, guarantee and efficient use of donations.

The affected families are selected according to social criteria and current living conditions. The most difficult destinies are families still living in collective centres (CCs). In many cases the collective centres accommodation provides only the most rudimentary living conditions, with IDP families sharing kitchens and water and sanitation facilities. The majority of IDPs remaining in CCs today are persons with heightened vulnerabilities, including persons who are physically or mentally challenged, the chronically ill, the elderly without any income or family support, and others who cannot return due to acute protection reasons. The provision of durable housing, creation of jobs, support in reviving agriculture, investments in infrastructure, intensive integration of the “stakeholders”, inclusion into society and normal living, and help in everyday problems are characteristic for the work of HWA. At the same time, this approach meets the requirement of sustainability and is based on the “help for self-help” principle. Let’s not close our eyes to the perils of war and consequent traumas! 

Aid towards self-sufficiency

Since 1996, Hilfswerk Austria International (HWA) BiH  has been very active in the sector of refugee return support through complex integrated projects which comprehend various types of assistance such as:  creation of permanent living space through reconstruction of houses, social housing, technical and social infrastructure; local capacity building through establishment and/or support to local NGOs and local authorities; education and training for local authorities – project associates; support in establishment or production improvement to SMEs in order to create new working places; improvements in agriculture sector through provision of grants, support to local co-operatives; psycho-social trainings for parents and teachers to reduce prejudices about inclusion and children with special needs and other activates.

Since the end of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina we have been able to implement 73 projects with the total cost of more than 53 million Euro. We want to “give people a hand” – work together with them so they can rebuild their courage from within themselves and take running of their lives. For in addition to political and economic decisions, the personal state of mind of the people concerned plays a major role. In this context non-profit (humanitarian) organizations must meet the challenge of providing direct help to families regardless of ethnic group or religious belief. “We don’t simply help the people to build a roof over their head”, says Heidi Burkhart, manager of Hilsfwerk Austria International, “We want to build a roof for Europe, under which the children of our continent can grow up in peaceful future.”

Since 1996 HWA aid team in Bosnia and Herzegovina have built:

3.489 homes (for returnees, IDPs, socially vulnerable population and minorities such as Roma)

6 health centres and 2 veterinary stations

2 daily centres for children with special needs

12 schools and kindergartens

5 homes for elderly

2 sports halls

8 bridges

6.744 grants delivered

80 new jobs created

Repaired 60 km of roads and

120 km of electro networks

12 transformer stations installed

20 water supply systems revitalised

15 local NGOs supported

Provision of construction material for a septic pool and provision of a pregnant pig and a wardrobe in support to a returnee family in Prijedor

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2009/HWA/ IF-06

J.B., 4 family members, the Bos. Croats returned in July 1996, when they were smuggled back to their home in Kalajevo village. At the time, both their children returned to the village and immediately enrolled to the local school. Until today, those children are the only real returnee children in the village. The only income that the family has comes from agricultural production and some livestock. When they returned, the reconstruction assistance was provided by Caritas (construction materials for flooring and panel walls and materials for a stable). All other works at the house were done by J.B. who was using second-hand materials he found in the village. There was no septic pool.  J.B. had to sell 12 dunums of forest as heating woods, just to provide for the children’s schooling. Recently, his son finished the college for business management, while his daughter had enrolled the Law Faculty in Banja Luka, finished the second year and could not continue as they could not cover the costs of living and schooling in Banja Luka. J.B. wife is seriously sick – she has a cyst in her head (near cerebellum) which cannot be operated as she could remain immobile. Therefore, she is suffering from constant headaches. Their most needed assistance was to provide additional income and food for family. They asked for a pregnant pig because they have a stable and prepared feed for the animals. Also, their most urgent need was wardrobe for their clothing and other staff because they did not have any, all their clothing was placed on the floor of a storage room.        
This extremely vulnerable returnee family with UNHCR/HWA support improved living standards and is able to raise and sell pigs, keep one or two for their own food and repeat the whole cycle in spring/summer next year.
The number of primary beneficiaries supported by this project was 1 family / 4 persons. 

Support to a returnee family in Kotor Varos through provision of a cow-in-calf and a washing machine

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2009/HWA/ IF-05

M.N., 4 family members, living in Donji Borci. M.N. was working for 29 years in Croatia while his wife and five children were living in their family house in Donji Borci. In August 1992, Milenko was imprisoned in Sports Hall in Zagreb, then in the concentration camps in BiH where he was registered and released by ICRC. ICRC took him to Montenegro for recovery after which he returned home. Due to the conditions of imprisonment and beating, M.N. is declared incapable of work, traumatized, with heavy depression and under constant medication therapy. His three oldest daughters got married and live in Serbia while the youngest daughter is living with her parents but she has slight mental problems and is not willing to get out of the house. The family has a cow, a pig and 6 hens. As the family claimed that they would have most benefit with provision of a cow. They have sufficient milk for their consumptions and for sale, while they could sell a calf to cover some of their urgent needs. It was also important to them to have a washing machine, as it is very difficult for M.N. wife to wash their closing so they were assisted with the washing machine delivered on November 11th, 2009.   
The above mentioned assistance helps the family to increase their monthly income and improve their diet, but would also improve the living standards specially of the female part of the family.
The number of primary beneficiaries supported by this project was 1 family / 4 persons.  
  

Provision of stable construction material and a cow-in-calf in support to a returnee family in Jajce

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2009/HWA/ IF-04


Provision of stable construction material and a cow-in-calf in support to a returnee family in Jajce
J.B., 6 family members, returned in 2003 to village Liskovica. The family is one of three families living permanently in the area of Liskovica village. Their house, after the DPA, became a part of Jajce municipality which was not case before the war (23 km to Jajce, 18 km to Mrkonjic Grad). As J.B. is carpenter and knows a lot of construction works he repaired his house on his own from the material he received as a donation. J.B. has more then 120 dunums of land, fields, orchards and forests but more then 60 dunums are mined. The Brtans are living on agriculture. They had one cow, but had no stable. As they had no stable UNHCR/HWA supported the family with the provision and delivery of construction material for stable reconstruction that J.B. reconstructed by himself and a cow-in-calf because there is a dairy collection point in the neighboring Bosniak village Vlasinje. In frame of Project Proposal No. 2009/HWA/06 UNHCR/HWA assisted Jajce municipality with seven milk-coolers among which one was for LC Vlasine.    
Within Tender was provided and delivered construction material for stable reconstruction on November 17th, 2009 . This returnee family with two cows and proper stable make regular income by selling 10-15 liters of milk per day because buy-off of milk is organized by dairy company “MEGGLE”.  
The number of primary beneficiaries supported by this project was 1 family / 6 persons.  
  

Provision of a milking cow in Support to a returnee family in Kotor Varos

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2009/HWA/ IF-03

N.K. and his old parents live in a distant area of Donje Liplje, some 30 km from Kotor Varos. N.K. was born there in 1960. The family was very poor so he went to Croatia to work as a very young man. He changed locations, following labor needs. He returned to BiH and was registered as departed spontaneously in 2002. In meantime, his parents started to show symptoms of mental disorder. Now, N.K. is desperately trying to find any kind of job. This year they could not even grow vegetables for their own consumption as they could not buy seeds. His father is receiving 153 BAM of pension (he was also working in Croatia for some time). As of 01 June, the CSW Kotor Varos approved monthly social care allowance of 41 BAM for his mother who was institutionalized during the war. As N.C. said that priority of family was start getting some income he would like to be assisted with a milking cow the local dairy “Snjegotina” was regularly buying off milk, the family would have opportunity to have their own milk and sell all access milk. They have more then 50 dunums of land, they have enough feed for the cow. The milking cow has been delivered on December 7th, 2009.
The purchase and delivery of a milking cow was of great importance for this returnee family who realized return but living on edge of existence without employment or income.
The number of primary beneficiaries supported by this project was 1 family / 3 persons. 

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