The Advisory Panel of the EU Floods Recovery Programme held its third meeting yesterday in Sarajevo to discuss the progress of the floods recovery efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, exchange information on the results achieved so far and discuss future activities. Special emphasis was placed on housing rehabilitation and mitigation of disaster risks in the housing sector, particularly the Floods and Landslides Housing Risk Assessment which is being developed under the auspices of the Programme.
By 15 April 2015, the EU Floods Recovery Programme has produced the following key results across the flood-affected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- 1,532 homes have been rehabilitated, and works are currently in progress on further 122;
- 91 public buildings have been rehabilitated, and works on 27 public buildings are currently ongoing;
- 54 communal infrastructure objects have been rehabilitated, and works on further 50 is currently in progress;
- Grant payments to all selected 56 SMEs (for a total of EUR 1.47m) have been finalised, contributing to retention and generation of more than 1,800 jobs;
- Data entry process for the first public call for the agricultural recovery component has been finalised, and the selection process is in progress;
- The second public call for agricultural recovery closed on 10 April.
"We are very pleased that the EU Floods Recovery Programme continues to deliver visible results on the ground benefitting flood-affected communities, and we place high importance on coordination and collaboration with the domestic authorities - with the aim to ensure that as many people as possible receive the assistance they deserve. In the meeting we discussed the importance of sustaining and expanding our collective efforts to help those whose homes have been damaged or destroyed in the floods and landslides. A key tool for providing this additional support, along with financing vital flood protection measures, is the second package of EU flood-recovery assistance which is worth 41 million EUR.
These funds will be available to BiH after the relevant domestic authorities ratify the relevant Framework Agreement. We welcome the progress made by the Council of Ministers' decision this week and look forward to speedy completion of the process to mobilise the funds", said Melvin Asin, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH after the meeting.
"We are satisfied with the progress of the Programme we are implementing, and the fact that we helped some 1500 families returned to their homes so far. The Floods and Landslides Housing Risk Assessment that we are currently working on as part of the EU Floods Recovery Programme is aligned with our efforts to act from two sides – to assist in the post-flood recovery in affected areas, but also to help this country to turn towards a sustainable development through risk reduction and resilience building,” said Zahira Virani, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
The Advisory Panel is a key component of the governance structure of the EU Floods Recovery Programme. It is composed of key domestic institutions responsible for floods recovery efforts at the State, Entity and Brčko District BiH levels and representatives of the EU Delegation to BiH as the donor, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the Programme implementing partner.
The Advisory Panel was established in October 2014 to ensure maximum synergies between the flood recovery activities of the European Union and the domestic authorities on all levels, and it also serves as an information exchange forum on ongoing and planned flood recovery activities.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme was launched to restore normal living conditions in local communities and ensure that the assistance reaches the most vulnerable ones in the aftermath of floods in May 2014. Financial aid is used for rehabilitation of the buildings for public services, infrastructure, housing units for the most vulnerable people and for socio-economic recovery of local communities. The value of the overall Programme is 43.52 million, out of which 42.24 million is provided by the European Union. This assistance is a part of the funds that the European Union pledged at the donor conference in Brussels in July 2014.
The Programme is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).