WASHINGTON, June 11, 2014—The World Bank today approved two Global Environment Facility (GEF) grants totaling US$6.77 million for the Adriatic Sea Environmental Pollution Control Project for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) (US$2.44 million) and for the Republic of Croatia (US$4.33 million).
The Project will assist the two countries in reducing the discharge of pollutants in the eastern Adriatic Sea, prepare pollution control projects in selected localities in Dalmatia and Herzegovina, and strengthen the capacity to monitor the water quality of the sea.
The Adriatic Sea is home to many of the region’s largest cities and is one of the most important water bodies in Southern Europe because of its ecological value and important marine habitats. Unfortunately, the ecological balance of the Adriatic is threatened by trans-boundary pollution. The deteriorating state of the sea affects its fisheries, services, and tourism, threatening livelihoods and the economies of Croatia and BiH,
“This project is part of a larger Adriatic Sea Environment Program aimed at improving regional management capacity for trans-boundary pollution control with the aim of restoring the ecological balance in the Adriatic Sea,” noted the World Bank Task Team Leader for this project Manuel Marino. “We hope that this initiative will facilitate regional cooperation and lead to a joint approach by all Adriatic countries in solving common pollution challenges.”
BiH joined the World Bank in 1996, with membership retroactive to 1993. Over the last 17 years, the World Bank has approved 70 projects in the total amount of about US$1.78 billion. 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.
Since joining the World Bank in 1993, Croatia has benefited from financial and technical assistance, policy advice, and analytical services provided by the global development institution. To date, the World Bank has supported 52 operations amounting to around US$3.5 billion, and approved 52 grants with a total value of US$70 million.
About the GEF
The Global Environment Facility is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector, to address global environmental issues. Since 1991, the GEF has provided $12.5 billion in grants and leveraged $58 billion in co-financing for 3,690 projects in 165 developing countries. For 23 years, developed and developing countries alike have provided these funds to support activities related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, and chemicals and waste in the context of development projects and programs.