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Belgrade, 23 Nov 06

UN-HABITAT this month received two prestigious awards for its work in helping resettle low-income former refugees and displaced people under an Italian-financed housing and social integration programme for tens of thousands of war refugees and other vulnerable people in Serbia.

The Council Salon of the 15th Salon of Urbanism awarded the agency for the implementation of the Settlement and Integration of Refugees Programme (SIRP). The programme develops sustainable settlement and integration solutions for low-income refugees and other vulnerable households. It also helps build capacities at municipal and central levels for replication and upscaling.

The first award to the agency was for competitions it held for architectural and urban design for social housing as part of the housing sector reform in Serbia. He second award was bestowed by a jury presided over by the architect, Ms. Vesna Prosenica; the President of the Serbian own Planners Association, Mr. Miodrag Ralevic, and the President of the Council of the Salon of Urbanism, Mr. Dušan Minic. Their citation said UN-HABITAT was being garlanded for “successful realization of the SIRP Programme, the mobilization of development potentials of seven cities and the institutional organization of housing agencies in Serbian cities.”

The programme in Serbia started with a Memorandum of Understanding UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka signed with the Government of Italy in September 2002. Under its terms, Italy has provided 15 million euros (US$ 18.6 million) for the construction programme.

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