On the second day of her visit to Serbia, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services, Grete Faremo, met with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, Zorana Mihajlović, and toured projects being implemented by UNOPS in Obrenovac, with the financial support of the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway.
The partnership between UNOPS and Serbian government ministries is reflected in the preparing and implementing of projects related to improving people’s lives in Serbia. UNOPS is currently implementing eight projects, worth a total of almost €50 million and intended to counter the consequences of flooding and reconstruct damaged road infrastructure, as well as the European PROGRES programme, aimed at developing 34 under-developed municipalities in the country’s southeast and southwest. Deputy PM Mihajlović thanked UNOPS for all the joint projects implemented to date in Serbia, as well as expressing hope that this cooperation will continue successfully on all future projects.
“Two new projects that will receive funding of more than €30 million from the EU and the Government of Switzerland, and which will include initiatives for the development of planning and technical documentation, social and economic infrastructure, as well as the inclusion of Roma and gender equality, will give us an opportunity to deepen our cooperation with the Ministry,” said Under-Secretary-General Faremo.
The Kingdom of Norway invested €1.5 million in the renovation of the Obrenovac Sport and Culture Centre following the devastating floods of May 2014.
“What we see today at the Sport and Culture Centre is the result of cooperation between Serbia, the Municipality of Obrenovac, the EU and UNOPS, which we can be proud of, and I hope that we will continue our cooperation. I am proud to see how people receive the chance to return to normal life. Friends are there to help, and such practical assistance is worth much more than many words and promises,” said Norwegian Ambassador H.E. Arne Sannes Bjornstad.
The UNOPS Executive Director also toured the Mislođina social housing building, where 32 Roma families are housed and which was built, with EU assistance, as part of the “Let’s Build a Home Together” project.