Reintegration Programme for Separated Soldiers Receives New Backing

Posted: 
12/18/06

The Norwegian Government is contributing US$ 1.9 million towards
IOM’s ongoing programme to provide reintegration assistance
to discharged soldiers to ensure their successful transition into
civilian society and workforce.

The aim of IOM’s Reintegration Assistance to Separated
Defence Personnel Programme is to facilitate the reintegration of
some 3,000 discharged soldiers by providing regular information and
counselling with respect to opportunities for gainful employment
and/or self-employment as civilians. Special attention is given to
former soldiers coming from economically depressed war affected
areas.

IOM offices in Zagreb, Split and Osijek have so far distributed
more than 3,000 registration forms to discharged defence personnel,
registered 2,331 potential candidates, performed 2,308 one-on-one
interviews and signed 1,655 reintegration assistance contracts with
beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries can apply for in-kind reintegration funds to help
them acquire professional equipment, to obtain additional training
for future employment, to modernize existing business facilities or
to secure administrative licenses to start micro enterprises.

Purchase of professional equipment for work in agriculture,
construction and tourism constitutes the most requested form of
assistance. The programme also provides opportunities for further
education, business training and referrals to the public and
private sector.

An IOM survey carried out in April 2006 indicates that 93% of
the beneficiaries are male, of an average age of 43 and that 86%
wish to start up or continue self-employment activities.

With peace and stability having returned to Croatia, and with
the prospect of NATO and EU membership, the Croatian Ministry of
Defence (MoD) initiated in 2002 a phased downsizing programme for
some 12,000 military and civilian personnel to be carried out over
a four-year period.

The Norwegian and Dutch governments have co-funded this
programme in 2004 and 2005. This new Norwegian funding will address
the reintegration needs of a further 500 demobilized soldiers.

IOM has successfully provided reintegration support to former
soldiers in Angola, Bosnia Herzegovina, Congo Brazzaville,
Guatemala, Haiti, Mali, Mozambique, the Philippines, Kosovo and
East Timor.

For more information, please contact:

Ivan ?eko

IOM Zagreb

Tel +385 21 315 699

E-mail "mailto:iceko@iom.hr">iceko@iom.hr