Serbia, 28 March 2024

Switzerland Supports the Improvement of the Position of Waste Pickers with more than 230,000 euros

Through the Joint UN Programme "PRO - Local Governance for People and Nature", the Swiss government supports the implementation of 10 local self-government projects aimed at restoring the livelihoods of informal waste pickers and improving their access to public services relevant to social inclusion in the context of the modernization of the waste management system.

The total value of financial support is 234,566 euros, and the projects will be implemented in Bač, Valjevo, Kula, Loznica, Obrenovac, Odžaci, Prijepolje, Ruma, Sremska Mitrovica and Šid. These local self-governments have the most waste pickers, whose sources of income are affected by the closure of illegal landfills and the establishment of regional waste management centers, and are also included in the project "Solid Waste Programme in Serbia", which is financed through the Loan Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Credit Arrangement Agreement between the Republic of Serbia and the French Development Agency (AFD).

The scope of support within the Programme "PRO - Local Governance for People and Nature" refers to the engagement of Family Supporters to provide direct assistance to vulnerable families of informal waste pickers and the establishment of a local coordination mechanism for systemic support in addressing the rights and needs of local waste collectors.

In the next 22 months, supported local self-governments will implement projects in cooperation with centers for social welfare, offices of the National Employment Service, public utility companies, health centers and local civil society organisations.

The value of individual projects depended on the number of family members of waste pickers residing in the territory of the local self-government, as well as on the need to support the families of waste pickers in the territory of other local self-governments.

More information about the supported projects is available in the Factsheet on the Results of the Public Call.

The Programme "PRO - Local Governance for People and Nature" is jointly implemented by the United Nations Agencies in Serbia - UNOPS, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNEP, in cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and with the financial support of the Government of Switzerland.