Serbia Home to Highest Number of Refugees and IDPs in Europe

In-depth Report:

BELGRADE — With its 275,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), Serbia is ranked first in Europe and 13th in the world, UNHCR data for 2010 show.

On World Refugee Day, which is marked in Serbia today, a total of 43.7 million displaced people have been registered in the world, 15.4 million of whom are refugees.

According to the data of the Commissariat for Refugees of the Republic of Serbia, more than 700,000 people from war affected territories of former Yugoslavia have found shelter in Serbia. They make up almost 10 percent of the country’s population.

A total of 65,000 of these people still have refugee status, while others have in the meantime obtained Serbian citizenship and IDs. About 210,000 displaced people from Kosovo-Metohija have been registered.

The biggest problem of refugees in Serbia, 15 years after the war in former Yugoslavia, is the solving of their housing and other vital needs, which is supposed to be regulated by law.

Over 73,000 refugees live below the poverty line in four regional countries, and according to the estimates, between EUR 500 and 600 million would be required to cover their needs, Tanjug was told by head of the UNHCR office in Serbia Eduardo Arboleda.

The government of Serbia identified 45,000 refugees in urgent need of help, whereas Bosnia-Herzegovina has 14,000, Croatia 8,500 and Montenegro 6,000, Arboleda said.

Taking into account that the largest number of most vulnerable refugees live in Serbia, the estimates say that as much as EUR 300-350 million would be required to cover their needs, Arboleda stressed.

Articles by: Global Research

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