Unemployment, poor quality of public services, corruption, and business-unfriendly environment are just some of the many challenges Bosnia and Herzegovina is faced with. However, in recent years, a more responsible approach by some local authorities has led to a significant improvement in the quality of life of the population.
Progress is largely achieved through the Local Integrated Development Project, an initiative worth BAM 12 million, funded by the European Union, and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in co-operation with 21 local communities. The results are reflected in new jobs, more efficient local governments, and better communal infrastructure.
“Through this Project, the European Union invested BAM 12 million for the development of 21 local communities in floods affected areas across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Project’s integrated approach has directly improved living conditions of 160,000 citizens, and supported the creation of almost 700 new jobs in 71 companies. This is a concrete example that, with an integrated approach, local communities are able to achieve sustainable results and improve the quality of life of their citizens, and, as the title of today’s conference says – demonstrate that we can do better,” said Khaldoun Sinno, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Over the past three years, the Local Integrated Development Project has enabled employment of 679 persons across Bosnia and Herzegovina through investments in medium and small enterprises, infrastructure and better public administration. The rationalisation of non-dedicated spending and smart savings measures resulted in nearly BAM 10 million being diverted to development projects that will result in better quality services for citizens.
“The results are proof that local communities are the driving force behind development in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that successful stories originate in communities that have integrated approach to development and recognize the needs of their citizens,” said Steliana Nedera, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH.
One of the successful entrepreneurs supported by this project is Emir Bulić from Tuzla. As the owner of the Bueno confectionery company, Bulić completed training in entrepreneurship and developed a business plan.
“When you have an idea, you will find the way to bring it to life. Training and the funds I received helped me to improve production and place my products to a broader labour market during the last year, Bulić said.
Results achieved in small and medium companies, achievements in agriculture, capital infrastructural projects that were supported by the project, but also plan for further development of both, the local communities, and Bosnia and Herzegovina were presented in Sarajevo at the conference called “We can do better.