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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Helps Bosnia and Herzegovina Increase Its Protection from Floods

May 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$24 million credit for the Drina Flood Protection Project for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to improve flood management of the Drina River in and around the towns of Bijelijna and Goražde.

The Drina flood protection project will reduce the vulnerability to flood events for agricultural and commercial interests and communities in the project areas. It aims to increase resilience of communities and small agriculture properties to recurring floods, and mitigate the catastrophic impact such floods have on livelihood and economic activities.  The project will mainly focus on the construction and rehabilitation works of dike systems in and around Bijeljina and Goražde. 

“Increased protection from floods is a priority, as illustrated by the raging floods across the country this week,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Manager for BiH. “This Project will help protect 8,500 hectares of agricultural land against the risk of floods. The income security and living conditions of the land holders – mostly poor family small holdings – will improve as crops will be more regular and reliable.”

An estimated 175,000 people live within the main municipalities along the Drina River, of which an estimated 20,000 suffered direct economic losses caused by flooding. The project will specifically provide benefits to poorer communities as these tend to live in housing areas more prone to flooding. Additionally, the Project will bring higher security to more remote areas and poorer communities in the mountains that depend heavily on vulnerable communication links (roads, bridges, power) for their livelihoods, schooling, and health services.

The World Bank portfolio of active projects in BiH now includes 13 operations totaling approximately US$478.6 million.  Areas of support include agriculture, environment, energy efficiency, health, social safety and employment, local infrastructure, and private sector development.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/508/ECA