Belgrade, 2 January 2008 – One of the Ministers of the Kosovo Government, Branislav Grbic, has announced that 7 million euros will be allotted in 2008 for the return process of IDPs.

The Minister of Return and Communities of Kosovo, Branislav Grbic, has announced that seven million euros will be allotted in 2008 to support the return process, almost two million more than in 2007. The return of IDPs to Kosovo has not been satisfactory so far, due to a number of circumstances, Grbic said.

He said that the status of Kosovo is also one of the factors in IDPs’ return and decision to stay.

Grbic reminded that the Ministry allotted 5,2 million euros in 2007 for organized and individual returns and that the construction of a database is in progress and it will provide the exact number of returnees.

“In cooperation with UNDP, the Ministry has built 20 houses for members of the Serb community in Kosovo Polje municipality, in the villages of Berkovo and Klinavac near Klina another 20 houses, and 17 houses for Roma, Ashkalia and Egyptians in Vucitrn”, Grbic said.

He stressed that another 100 housing units for individual returnees were built last year.

According to him, of the 5,2 million euros two were used for building the infrastructure to enable returnees’ integration and make their life easier – among other things, sport facilities were constructed and computers were bought for schools.

The Ministry of Return and Communities plans to continue the same policy regarding the return and integration of ethnic communities in 2008. Grbic added that not just in 2008, but also in 2009 and 2010, Kosovo will keep working together with the European Agency for Reconstruction and UNDP on IDPs’ return and integration.

Grbic pointed out that each the Ministry and the EAR will invest 1,1 million euros in the project, and UNDP will invest 400.000 euros.

This year the focus will be placed on the return process to rural areas, because this is where the return is guaranteed and possible and the Ministry will try to initiate return to urban areas, regardless of the fact that it is an expensive and complex process.

Source: Beta