"Kosovo/a Initiative" Assessment Mission
R E P O R T
DRC Job no. 503-556
Supported by FRESTA
According to the latest statistics there are still 233,938 IDPs from Kosovo in Serbia, and 340,490 refugees from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, living in difficult conditions. The situation of IDPs is particularly precarious, both in collective centers and private accommodation, given the decreasing level of humanitarian assistance and the still unresolved status with regard to durable solutions of return or integration. They generally have relatively poor access to information pertaining to their communities of origin, although there are a number of agencies involved in various form of assistance (such as information campaigns, organizing go-and-see visits, training, advocacy, return and integration activities).
Recently the Serbian Government has adopted a strategy for resolving the issue of refugees and IDPs. It is in the initial stages of implementation and very poorly involves local NGOs and civil society actors. The Poverty Reduction Strategy that is currently under development is also looking at specific problems of the displaced and refugee population, as well as trying to enhance the involvement of local organizations. There is generally a positive environment in which the civil society actors operate in Serbia, but the situation still leaves much to be desired in terms of cooperation among various stakeholders.
Key official institutions responsible for IDPs and refugees are the Serbian Commissioner for Refugees and the Coordination Center for Kosovo (CCK). In addition, UNHCR and other UN agencies, as well as local and international NGOs are involved in providing specific forms of assistance to these vulnerable groups. There are also a significant number of IDP associations, which represent an attempt of the IDP population to organize itself and become more directly involved in resolving their own problems, including return initiatives.