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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Group to Support Flood Recovery in Bosnia and Herzegovina

June 30, 2014

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014 – The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$100 million credit for the Floods Emergency Recovery Project for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to meet critical needs and restore the functionality of infrastructure essential for public services and economic recovery in affected areas in the aftermath of the worst flooding to hit the country in documented history.  The project was prepared in record time in view of the dire situation in the country and will be financed from the International Development Association’s (IDA) Crisis Response Window resources.

This project will target areas that were hit hardest by the devastating floods. Preliminary evidence shows that the largest impact from this disaster was on livelihoods, housing, transport, agriculture, and energy. Given the magnitude of the damage caused by flooding and subsequent landslides, the project is designed to support efforts by local and entity governments to quickly re-establish public services to pre-flood levels. The project will also support the Government’s on-going economic recovery initiatives, in particular in the agriculture sector.

In addition to this project, the World Bank is working on several other fronts to ensure the provision of a comprehensive package of support for BiH as it recovers and rebuilds from the physical and economic devastation.  Notably, the Bank is participating in a systematic recovery needs assessment, led by the BiH authorities and supported also by the European Union and the United Nations.  The assessment will provide a basis for developing effective rehabilitation measures for infrastructure and services in the affected areas. The World Bank is also considering the restructuring of existing projects in its BiH portfolio to meet reconstruction needs.

While immediate recovery needs are the top priority of this project, the World Bank also stands ready to work with the BiH authorities to scale-up flood protection and implement early warning systems. The recently approved Drina Flood Protection Project is a good example of the type of work that could be scaled-up, as it addresses the need to prevent future flooding.

As emphasized by Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, “The Floods Emergency Recovery Project will finance critical goods, such as fuel and electricity imports, as well as the reconstruction of local infrastructure.  This immediate response, combined with the Drina River Flood Protection Project, will support economic recovery in the affected areas, and will help restore Bosnia and Herzegovina to a growth path following the floods.”

The World Bank portfolio of active projects in BiH now includes 14 operations totaling approximately US$578.6 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:
2014/613/ECA