10. 6. 2021.

Providing vaccination in Roma settlements

Belgrade, June 10, 2021 - Roma would be vaccinated en masse if they were allowed to be immunized in places that are easily accessible to them, such as the settlements in which they live, is the conclusion of today's health workshop held in the municipality of Zvezdara.

Experts of the Institute for Public Health "Milan Jovanović Batut" talked today in Veliki Mokri Lug with Roma men and women about the importance of prevention, immunization and recovery from the Covid-19 virus. In cooperation with NALED, GIZ and the Association of Coordinators for Roma Issues, outdoor workshops are organized in 54 substandard Roma settlements in 18 local governments.

- With the program of German development cooperation "Inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups in Serbia" we want to help members of vulnerable categories to get better access to information, prevention and recovery from Covid- 19, as well as to strengthen municipal capacities to respond to local communities in crisis situations . The program also envisages economic empowerment of Roma and other marginalized groups through the employment of 210 beneficiaries in 6 local municipalities. I hope that in this way we will enable a better position in the company of those who are often on the margins and prove that solidarity and partnership are crucial in the given circumstances - said the head of the Department for Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Christian Schilling.

Workshops have so far been held in Novi Pazar, Pozarevac, Apatin, Bac, Aleksinac, Kragujevac and Krusevac, and in the next two weeks are expected in Belgrade at three more locations in the municipality of Zvezdara, New Belgrade, Vranje, Pirot, Subotica, Valjevo, Vrsac , Sombor, Raska and Kraljevo.

- While most of our citizens get the vaccine quickly and easily with a few clicks on the eGovernment portal, it can be a challenge for the Roma population, because most of them still live in difficult conditions without access to computers and the Internet. In order to bring them closer to the benefits of immunization, within the project we have made brochures in Romani and Serbian which, in addition to basic data on ways of transmitting the infection and symptoms, also contain information on the procedure for applying for the vaccine - said NALEDs’ Executive Director Violeta Jovanović.

The German Development Cooperation Program "Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalized Groups in Serbia" in cooperation with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue implements measures to combat discrimination and stereotypes, and to improve cooperation between key institutions at national and local level. level and measures of economic empowerment and development of local mechanisms. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, ie in May 2020, the need to provide additional support to the marginalized population has been recognized in order to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic.