In the third week of May 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced its severest floods in the last 120 years. Huge amounts of rainfall of 250 to 300 meters per square meter caused sudden and extreme flooding of several rivers – the Bosna, Drina, Una, Sava, Sana, Vrbas – and their tributaries, as well as landslides. Urban, industrial and rural areas were completely submerged under water, cut off without electricity or communications and roads and transport facilities were damaged. A vast number of houses were destroyed damaged or left underwater, leading to a significant number of displaced households. In sum, the total economic impact of the disaster is estimated to have reached 2.04 Billion EUR or 15% of BiH’s GDP in 2014.
The EU responded immediately by activating the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and 23 Member States mounted relief assistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Following the disaster, the European Commission organized and hosted the Donors’ Conference ‘Rebuilding Together’ in order to mobilise support and to collect pledges from donors for the country’s recovery.
On 15 August the European Union launched its EU Floods Recovery Programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina worth 43.52 million Euro, out of which the EU’s contribution is 42.24 million Euro. The Programme aims to rehabilitate 4,000 dwellings for approximately 14,000 people, 100 local roads and bridges, 90 educational institutions (including pre-school facilities), 10 water and sanitation facilities, three municipality buildings, four Centres for social welfare, and four healthcare facilities. The EU Flood Recovery programme is aligned with the Recovery Needs Assessment, which was conducted by domestic authorities with assistance provided by the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank. The Programme is being implemented through the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) until February 2016.