Tuesday, 30 May 2006

23rd sitting of the Poverty Reduction Committee

The Poverty Reduction Committee held its twenty-third sitting on 30 May. The sitting was chaired by Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic, and attended by officials of the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).



The Poverty Reduction Committee held its twenty-third sitting on 30 May. The sitting was chaired by Snezana Stojanovic-Plavsic, and attended by officials of the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Committee discussed the Refugee Bill. Presenting the proposed legislation, the Commissioner for Refugees, Dragisa Dabetic, told the sitting that Serbia was home to about 107,000 persons with refugee status, and that there were another 300,000 refugees who had in the meantime been granted Serbian citizenship. Serbia is actively seeking either their integration into society or return to countries of origin. According to data collected by the Office of the Commissioner, about 60,000 people have so far returned to Croatia, while another 110,000 have gone back to Bosnia; these are mainly elderly people.

The proposed Bill foresees the implementation of programmes designed to ensure the integration of refugees into society – primarily to provide housing for them – through positive discrimination. Donations would be used to create a pool of 2,500 housing units, to be made available to refugees for either purchase at half the market price, or lease under favourable conditions. Funds obtained would be re-invested in providing housing for refugees. In addition to constructing new housing units, funding would also be provided for purchasing village houses or providing assistance in the form of building materials.

Committee members resolved to set up a roundtable on ‘Refugees in Serbia – yesterday, today, tomorrow’, where experts would discuss this issue of great importance to Serbia.

The sitting also discussed the Poverty Reduction Committee’s role in the UNDP Co-operation Project, which involves several National Assembly Committees.


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monday, 15 august
  • 11.00 - press conference of MP MA Ivan Kostic (National Assembly House, 13 Nikola Pasic Square, Central Hall)

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