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EU Floods Recovery Programme presents its overall results, assists more than 610,000 people in BiH

On 16 February 2016, the EU Floods Recovery Programme held its final Advisory Panel meeting in Sarajevo and presented results of its rehabilitation efforts that have assisted more than 610,000 people in flood-affected communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Advisory Panel is the governance structure of the Programme, composed of domestic institutions responsible for floods recovery efforts at the State, Entity and Brčko District BiH levels, representatives of the EU Delegation to BiH and UNDP.

The EU has allocated 42.24 million EUR for the rehabilitation of private dwellings, public services, communal infrastructure and economic recovery in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Concrete results of these activities are visible throughout the country. Many people have returned to their homes following the May 2014 floods, employment has increased, children are back to schools and kindergartens, while healthcare and social care, as well as administrative service that were interrupted, have been restored.

Melvin Asin, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH said: “At the end of the EU Floods Recovery Programme, we are proud to say that we have managed to accomplish our goals in helping the most vulnerable people in BiH to overcome the effects of the floods. I would like to thank our implementing partners, UNDP, UNICEF and IOM as well as to all local stakeholders for their support in the process. The EU will continue with its support under the second part of the assistance from IPA 2014 amounting to EUR 41 million, to help BiH to improve its resilience to natural disasters; to provide additional assistance to housing rehabilitation, SMEs and local economic development in flood affected areas; and support local NGOs with social development recovery assistance. Furthermore, we will soon lunch new programme for the Integrated Local Development worth 19 million EUR, with aim to enhance standards of living, creation of job opportunities, social inclusion and improvement of quality of life for citizens in areas with a large percentage of refugees, returnees and IDPs and in flooded areas.

The Programme exceeded its initial targets by 20 percent across the board by rehabilitating houses for more than 16,240 people, 156 schools, 12 kindergartens, six health care facilities, four centers for social work, three municipal buildings 114 roads and bridges, and 31 water and sanitation facilities. In addition, the Programme provided grant support to 116 small and medium-sized enterprises and 1,270 agricultural produces in retaining and creating more than 5,600 jobs and implemented five disaster risk reduction measures safeguarding four schools and one administrative building from potential floods and landslides.

The UNDP has contributed 1.28 million EUR to the Programme and was mandated with its implementation along with UNICEF and IOM.

The implementation of the EU Floods Recovery Programme was a great challenge, but it was worth the effort knowing that we have managed to assist more than half of the population in Bosnia and Herzegovina that was affected by the floods. Time was of the essence and our immediate emergency response activities brought us closer to the people and we had a full understanding of their recovery needs. In implementing the Programme we followed our build-back-better principle and we further improved the situation in comparison to what it was before the floods, thus paving the way for further development of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Sezin Sinagoglu, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

The Programme Advisory Panel members emphasized that following the recovery phase focus needs to shift to the implementation of disaster risk reduction measure to help prevent negative effects of potential future natural disasters.

The EU Floods Recovery Programme was launched in August 2014 and will close on 29 February 2016.

Overview of original, intermediate and new targets   

COMPONENT ORIGINAL TARGET INTERMEDIATE TARGET NEW TARGET
HOUSING ASSISTANCE 4,000 UNITS 4,400 UNITS 4,640 UNITS
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS 90 112 119
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION SERVICE PROVIDERS 3 3 3
PUBLIC ADMIN. BUILDING WATER PROOFING WORKS 0 0 1
HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS 4 6 6
CENTRE FOR SOCIAL WELFARE 4 5 4
NO. OF LOCATIONS WHERE DRR MEASURES ARE IMPLEMENTED 0 4 4
COMMUNAL INFRASTRUCTURE 110 140 145
No. OF SMEs 20 95 116
AGRICULTURE BENEFICIARIES 700 1,100 1,247
TOTAL NO. OF JOBS RETAINED/CREATED 2,000 3,535 4,416