Completed projects

Self-help Construction Assistance for Refugees and IDPs and urgent Repairs/Maintenance of official CCs


Mon –41 Self-help construction assistance for Refugees and IDPs and urgent repairs/maintenance of official CCs


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


January to December 2006/ € 174.200


Since 1992, UNHCR has been funding a local shelter project in Montenegro, which included construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of collective accommodation facilities, used to house refugees fleeing from BiH and Croatia. In 1997, UNHCR started pilot projects to provide more durable accommodation to refugees from the 1992-1995 conflict in the former Yugoslavia. A total of 9 refugee settlements in the municipalities of Kolasin, Niksic, Podgorica, Berane, Plav, Rozaje, Herceg Novi and Tivat were constructed for the refugee caseload by 1999. During the year 1999 and 2000 the most urgent accommodation needs for IDP influx from Kosovo were met through camps, and private motels and hotels and in existing collective centers for refugees.

At present, there are 8,381 refugees from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia and 17,864 IDPs from Kosovo, still living in Montenegro. Out of this number 1,590 Refugees and 1,252 IDPs live in official collective centres, family settlements and 1 camp.

In January 2005 HELP has taken over a part of self help construction programme for a durable/ permanent accommodation solution.

Due to lack of alternative accommodation and other durable solutions, a number of sub-standard infrastructure facilities continue to accommodate refugees and IDPs, thus basic maintenance and repair works on the selected collective centres will be aiming ensuring physical safety of facilities and their residents.

All concerned projects are done as per the request of UNHCR and in close co-ordination with the local authorities.

Description of Beneficiaries:

a) General Background on Beneficiary Population

Demographic Data by Beneficiary Population (Current Situation)

According to the official registration records, Montenegro hosts some 8,381 refugees from BiH and Croatia and some 17,864 internally displaced persons from Kosovo consisting of Montenegrins, RAE, Serbs, Muslims, and Albanians (in numerical order). The numbers are updated by MCDP on monthly Refugees and IDPs reside in all 21 municipalities of Montenegro, with larger concentrations in Podgorica, Herceg Novi, Bar, and Berane municipalities.

Name of Beneficiary Population: Refugees from Croatia and BH
In Montenegro

Male Female Total
Age Group (in absolute numbers) (in %) (in absolute numbers) (in %) (in absolute numbers) (in %)
0-4 70 0.8% 49 0.6% 119 1.4%
5-17 675 8.1% 630 7.5% 1,305 15.6%
18-59 2,340 27.9% 3,030 36.1% 5,370 64.0%
60 and > 666 8.0% 921 11.0% 1,587 19.0%
Total: 3,751 44.8% 4,630 55.2% 8,381 100.0%
Major locations: Podgorica, Herceg Novi, Bar

Name of Beneficiary Population: Internally Displaced Persons from Kosovo in Montenegro

Male Female Total
Age Group (in absolute numbers) (in %) (in absolute numbers) (in %) (in absolute numbers) (in %)
0-4 544 3.0% 483 2.7% 1,027 5.7%
5-17 2,941 16.5% 2,662 14.9% 5,603 31.4%
18-59 4,283 24.0% 4,724 26.4% 9,007 50.4%
60 and > 929 5.2% 1,298 7.3% 2,227 12.5%
Total: 8,697 48. 7% 9,167 51.3% 17,864 100.0%
Major locations: Podgorica, Berane, Bar

Demographic Projection: The number of refugees and IDPs currently living in Montenegro decreased slightly in the last two years. Present situation in Kosovo implies that it is unlikely that a substantial number of IDPs will return home. The majority of refugees who wanted to repatriate to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have already returned to their place of origin while most of the remaining have opted for the local integration.

b) Specific Information on the Project

HELP assesses the different requests from UNHCR and findings from the assessment visits and prioritises order of works execution, regarding sanitation, water, heating, electricity, roofs and windows in official CCs and family settlements. For each proposed activity, HELP is making a technical outline of the works required and estimates the costs of required material and labour. According to the most urgent needs as identified and agreed upon by MCDP and UNHCR, HELP organises necessary steps to be undertaken.
For self-help construction programme HELP provides assistance in delivery of building material either for construction of new housing units on a land in the beneficiary’s ownership. Materials are provided for a house measuring to ~35 m2 with a value of approximately EUR 10,500. Beneficiaries are expected to provide construction labour on their own, as well as to take care of storage of building material, all necessary permits, and water, electricity and sewage (infrastructure) connections.

HELP will procure basic furniture for families constructing individual housing through self-help programme.

HELP will be supervising continuation of construction works on accommodation pavilion of Asylum reception Centre.

Impact on Protection Issues and Policy Priorities

Basic maintenance of official Collective centres has a positive impact on living conditions of Refugees and IDPs residing in those centres, most of who are vulnerable.

Self help construction programme is targeting official Collective centres and vulnerable Refugees/IDPS living in them .The precariousness of their legal and residential status and that of their accommodation is a major cause of their feeling of uncertainty and it does not provide a stable environment for bringing up of children. With the self help assistance refugees/IDPs will provide a permanent individual accommodation for their families, and a healthy ground for other aspects of socio-economic integration.

Self help construction programme will facilitate the closure of CCs, providing assistance to eligible refugees/IDPs.

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