Belgrade, 3 June 2019

The Kingdom of Norway Allocates EUR 840,000 for Better Infrastructure and Employment

The implementation of projects worth EUR 840,000, aimed at improving infrastructure and providing vocational training in accordance with local employment action plans, as part of the project "Norway for you - Serbia", was launched in a ceremony in which Kingdom of Norway grant certificates were awarded to local self-government representatives.

"Towns and municipalities have never had more support than nowadays, both from the Republic of Serbia and through donor programs. The Kingdom of Norway supports the development of local infrastructure and employment of vulnerable groups, and local self-governments should use all available help, to get the financial and technical support for a better life of their citizens," said Zoran Kasalović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government.

Infrastructure projects , whose implementation will last until May 2020, will improve the functioning of facilities for health care and social protection, education, culture and sports, and will also include the construction of a sewage network. The projects will be implemented in Babušnica, Bela Palanka, Bela Crkva, Vladičin Han , Golubac, Knjaževac, Kučevo and Surdulica. The Kingdom of Norway has allocated EUR 780,000 for the implementation of these activities, while the municipalities will provide co-funding amounting to EUR 297,000 in total.

"The substance of the project "Norway for you - Serbia" is to ensure a better life for people living in underdeveloped municipalities. I have observed the progress and development of local self-governments in Serbia, but there are parts of the country that lag behind. It is not specific just to Serbia, because this is also happening in developed countries, where certain parts make more rapid progress. We support municipalities to realize their potential, and believe that we will be able, together with national partners and UNOPS, to improve the lives of citizens in these regions," said the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Mr Arne Sannes Bjørnstad.

According to the projects for enhancing employability, the municipalities of Aleksinac, Babušnica, Bela Palanka, Mionica, Sjenica and Trgovište will receive support for the implementation of various types of training in the public and private sectors for 102 individuals, after which 50 of them will get jobs. The support is targeted at less employable population segments - young people under 30 years of age, individuals with lower education levels, the Roma, people over 50 years of age and the long-term unemployed. For these activities, the Kingdom of Norway has allocated EUR 60,000, while the municipalities will provide co-funding amounting to EUR 16,500 in total.

"The support of the Kingdom of Norway to Serbia has continued through the "Norway for you" project, through which the most disadvantaged local self-governments receive support for development and job creation, with a view to facilitating access to employment for all inhabitants, and mostly those from vulnerable groups. Our long-standing partners – the Kingdom of Norway and UNOPS - have recognized our commitment to enabling the development of all local self-governments and improving living conditions for all citizens," said Assistant Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Mirjana Ćojbašić.

"These projects will contribute to a better quality of life of the Serbian citizens, and thus schools, kindergartens and cultural centres in these municipalities will be reconstructed, while employment will be facilitated through vocational training. I am very pleased to see the joint efforts of the Government of Serbia and the Kingdom of Norway, especially in the long-term resolution of these problems, which the citizens of these municipalities face on a daily basis," said the Head of UNOPS in Serbia, Michela Telatin.

For more details on approved projects:
Local infrastructure: The list of projects for the improvement of local infrastructure.pdf
Vocational training: The list of the projects for increased employability of vulnerable groups and those that find it difficult to get a job by improving their knowledge and skills.pdf