The European Union approved additional EUR 750.000 of grants through the Western Balkans Investment Fund (WBIF) for the third phase of the project to improve flood prevention and management in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The closing workshop of the previous two phases of the project was organised in Bijeljina on 25 September followed with a field trip on 26 September to observe the actual results on the ground achieved so far.
The first two phases of the project resulted in improved performance and reliability of the flood mitigation-protection system in Republika Srpska and in strong positive economic, social, environmental and public health impacts. So far, 27 construction contracts have been signed for priority flood protection measures along the Sava River and its tributaries. The quality of life in 30 municipalities and surroundings, totalling 700,000 inhabitants, has been improved and the risk of floods significantly reduced, thus preventing serious human and material damage.
The end beneficiaries as well as the stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the project results and agreed that limited flood protection measures at local level can have negative effects if not applied to the whole river basin affected by floods.
Through the WBIF the European Union provided technical assistance in the amount of EUR 4 million EUR complementing a loan of 55 million euro provided by European Investment Bank (EIB), in addition to local funds.
To ensure mitigation and improved management of floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU and bilateral donors to the Western Balkans Investment Framework have so far allocated more than 13 million EUR in grant support, leveraging more than 130 million EUR in investments. This has helped people rebuild their lives after the floods in 2010 and 2014 and contributed to protecting more than 3.4 million citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina from future floods.