Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and Republic of Serbia signed Serbian Country Housing Project Framework Agreement under Regional Housing Programme (RHP)

Belgrade, Serbia, 25-10-2013 — /EuropaWire/ — Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, Dr Jovan Krkobabic, and the Vice-Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Mr Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, signed today in Belgrade the Framework Agreement for the Serbian Country Housing Project under the Regional Housing Programme (RHP).

This Agreement defines the legal and operational framework under which the Serbian Country Housing Project will be implemented. Its signing allows Serbia to receive RHP Fund resources to implement its Country Housing Project. Two grant requests in favour of Serbia have already been approved this year by the Assembly of Donors of the RHP Fund, and a third one has been submitted for decision. If approved, the total amount of grants approved in 2013 for Serbia would reach € 24 million.

The signing of this Agreement took place in the presence of a number of international partners – the EU Delegation, the USA, UNHCR and the OSCE – illustrating the strong support of the international community for this initiative.

Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, Vice-Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank, said: “I would like to congratulate Serbia for being the first among the four Partner Countries to have the Framework Agreement in force. This, together with the on-going beneficiary selection process, implies that we shall be able to see the first results on the ground in the next few months, in spring 2014. CEB strongly supports Serbia in its efforts to provide access to decent housing without delay for those who for so long have lived in very difficult conditions.”

The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) is backed by the European Commission, the United States of America, the UNHCR, the OSCE as well as the CEB which manages the RHP Fund and the Housing Programme itself. The RHP aims at offering housing solutions to about 27 000 households or 74 000 refugees and displaced persons that are considered as most vulnerable, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia (the Partner Countries). The total investment cost of the Programme, over an estimated five-year period, should amount to € 584 million.

For more information:
Website of the Regional Housing Programme
http://www.regionalhousingprogramme.org

CEB Contact :
Secretariat of the Regional Housing Programme (ceb-rhp@coebank.org).

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 40 Member States. Twenty-one Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank’s target countries*, are listed among the Member States.

As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aaa with Moody’s, outlook negative, AA+ with Standard & Poor’s, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its Member States, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its Member States for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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