BELGRADE – UNDP Resident Coordinator in Serbia Irena Vojackova Solorano said that the return of several thousand Roma, whose asylum requests have been denied, from several EU countries and their reintegration into Serbian society is a great burden for the state system, especially for municipalities that are further faced with the problem of unemployment, improvement of education, health and social protection.

“The number of people who have to return is increasing. This is a very unfortunate trend that has been noticeable for years. From Germany to Serbia annually returns about 10,000 people, plus another five thousand from other EU countries. This is a great burden for the system but also municipalities,” said Solorano at a meeting in which was presented a pilot project for the reintegration of Roma returnees to Serbia.

According to her, reintegration represents an additional burden for municipalities that are struggling with unemployment, education, improvement of health and social care.

UNDP will therefore, she said, together with the Serbian government and other partners work to help the returnees, however not only them, but also local governments.