U.S. Embassy Presents the Results and Best Practices from More than Ten Years of Assistance for Local Integration of Refugees and Displaced Pers

On April 7, the U.S. Embassy and its implementing partner Catholic Relief Services will present a publication Integration of Displaced Population in Serbia: Lessons Learned and How To Guide, intended to serve as a reference manual and a tool for local and central government to further build capacity to deliver assistance to populations of concern in local communities.

U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael D. Kirby, Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, local government officials and NGOs will share experiences accrued through cooperation and implementation of the U.S. Government-funded “Supporting Displaced Persons from Kosovo and Refugees to Integrate in Serbia” project. The project targets individuals for whom income-generation support makes difference between a life in poverty and a durable livelihood. Additionally, the project offers free legal aid to refugees and displaced persons for resolution of property matters, claims related to the privatization of state-owned companies, or for obtaining or recovering of personal and employment-related documents from Kosovo.

Over the past decade, the U.S. government (through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration) has provided approximately $8 million for local integration of displaced persons in Serbia working with its partner NGO Catholic Relief Services. Through that support, and in partnership with the local NGOs: Balkan Center for Migration, Bozur, Solidarnost and the Republic of Serbia’s Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, the project provided free legal aid to approximately 32,000 people; income generation grants to 1,500 people; and support to 550 displaced persons to receive a total of approximately 650,000 Euros through privatization process in Kosovo.

Journalists interested in covering the event should be at the Hotel Metropol, Nikola Tesla Hall (Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 69, Belgrade) at 10.50 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.