"Closing the Chapter: Social Inclusion and Conflict Transformation in War Affected Areas of Croatia"
The joint programme implemented by IOM; UNDP, UNHCR and UNICEF and funded under the MDG-F Conflict Prevention window was designed to tackle the endemic social, economic and political marginalization of returnees, minorities, veterans and economically-disempowered women whose exclusion most jeopardizes peaceful coexistence and sustainable return, and risks cementing the emergence of ‘Two Croatias’; one relatively well off, vibrant and Euro-centric; the other home to the poor, disempowered and excluded.
The project lasted from 15 May 2009 - 13 May 2011 and was worth $2,981,155.
Main achievements included:
- More than 19,700 men and nearly 21,000 women directly benefited from the programme, as did 29 national institutions and 406 local institutions.
- Community integration, safety and social cohesion were enhanced through the development of 10 Safe-Community Plans. These plans, designed by Crime Prevention Councils, focused on common problems affecting communities such as traffic safety, education on alcohol abuse and refurbishing community centers, and are sustainable mechanisms for communities to jointly discuss, analyze and agree courses of action to improve safety and security.
- The programme had a strong gender equality component, supporting relevant legal frameworks, national strategies and substantive projects that targeted women at high risk of poverty and violence, particularly those in rural areas with lower levels of education and those living in areas of former conflict.
- A coordination mechanism for regional development of war affected areas and violence prevention was established under the office of the Vice Prime Minister. This included six ‘Witness and Victims Support’ offices which reached several thousand beneficiaries.
- 71% of requests for free legal aid were approved, showing an improvement in the implementation of fundamental rights for returnees.