Temporary accommodation has been provided for returnee families of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians
Pristina, September 7, 2020
Through the UNHCR, in 2017, 75 families of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians returned to Kosovo from Northern Macedonia and Montenegro. Unfortunately, most of these families have not yet permanently resolved their housing issue and live in very difficult and inhumane conditions. The reasons for that are most often the lack of land owned by these families, the bad economic situation, unemployment, procedural obstacles regarding the construction of houses and others.
Due to arrears of rent and unpaid utility bills, there was a danger that 49 families of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians would be left without their temporary roof over their heads. Unfortunately, the municipalities in which the mentioned families with a total of 194 of their members found temporary refuge have not been able to significantly help with permanent solutions. The coronary virus pandemic has further aggravated the already poor economic situation and the possibility of seasonal employment for many members of these families. Throwing them out on the street would cause a real humanitarian catastrophe in the crisis times of the pandemic.
Therefore, at the initiative of Minister Dalibor Jevtic, despite large budget cuts, the Ministry of Communities and Returns borne the costs of rent and utilities in 2020 for 49 returnee families of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians, who found temporary refuge in the municipalities of Prizren, Ferizaj, Obilic, Graacanica, Dragash, Peja and Gjilan. The Ministry informed the mentioned municipal authorities about it and at the same time appealed to them to include these endangered families in social care schemes in accordance with the valid laws in the coming years.
The families of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians enthusiastically received the news of assistance in these difficult and uncertain times. They say that many families would probably welcome autumn and winter under the open sky if it were not for the Ministry of Communities and Returns and Minister Jevtić, who promised at the beginning of the year that he would not leave them in the lurch.
The payment of rent to the endangered returnee families of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians was realized through the Danish Refugee Council.