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Balkans seek over 500 million euros for refugees

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Balkans seek over 500 million euros for refugees

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Foreign ministers from western Balkan countries have signed a declaration of intent to solve the long running problem of war refugees. Tens of thousands of people remain displaced in the region after the wars of the 1990s.

The most pressing problem is to raise around 584 million euros from donors to resolve the status of 74,000 refugees.

Bosnian Foreign Minister, Sven Alkalaj said: “Our common moral, human and political task is to fulfil our remaining obligations towards the refugees and the displaced persons. This has to be done in a fair manner and based on their choice – whether they want to return to their previous homes, or integrate fully in the places where they live now, so they can build a future.”

Many of the refugees still live in so-called collective centres more than 16 years after the ethnic conflicts that erupted after the break up of the former Yugoslavia.

The accommodation is basic and overcrowded and hardly any of the adults have jobs. Their plight remains one of the most sensitive post war issues.