News 31 Aug 12

Montenegro to Rehouse Burned-out Refugees

Roma refugees who lost their homes and belongings in a barracks to a July fire should be rehoused in containers within the next two months.

Milena Milosevic

Procurement and installation of containers to rehouse the Konik camp residents who lost their homes in a fire should be completed within two months, the government said on Thursday.

The government has provided around almost a million euro for the procurement and installation of more than 200 containers and over the next few days it should choose a supplier, Suad Numanovic, Minister for Labour and Welfare, said.

The fire at Konik, the largest refugee camp in the Balkans, which hosts around 1,500 mainly Roma refugees from Kosovo, broke out on July 24. More than 800 people lost their homes.

The goverment opened a solidarity account as well as an account for donations in order to help the victims of the fire.

So far, the United Arab Emirates, United Nations, the Red Cross, Turkish Red Crescent, Germany, Slovakia and the US have all provided aid in health care, food and equipment.

The containers are seen as only a medium-term solution for the refugees, who currently live in more than 150 tents.

In March, Montenegro and EU officials signed an agreement allocating 3 million euro to the Ministry of Labour for the construction of 90 apartments and a community centre for the people of Konik camp.

Construction of these permanent homes is expected to start in 2013.




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