BELGRADE, July 21, 2023 — Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the World Bank have joined forces to finance a €265.2 million project to improve the capacity of 145 Serbian Local Self-Governments (LSGs). The goal is to develop and implement green, inclusive and resilient sustainable mobility infrastructures, and urban development. The project was launched in Belgrade today, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić.
The “Local Infrastructure and Institutional Development (LIID) Project’’ is an innovative municipal financing package, designed in response to a request from the Serbian authorities to promote balanced regional development, with a focus on local mobility. It will improve road infrastructure with focus on resilience and safety by strengthening public transport networks and active mobility infrastructure, such as pedestrian walkways and bicycle lanes.
LSGs will also receive technical assistance to improve efficiency in urban development, planning and implementing local investments and in operating and maintaining local infrastructures. As a result, LSGs will be able to adopt robust planning frameworks, enhance service delivery, improve the integration of climate issues in urban planning, and increase their capacity to access external financing.
The project will positively affect the quality of life of all residents of Serbia, contributing to the reduction of social and geographical inequalities and improving access to markets, employment and basic services, in a sustainable way.
"This project underscores our commitment to supporting Serbia's local development objectives. It reflects and contributes, through the mobilization of financial resources and expertise, to the reinforcement of bilateral relations between France and Serbia, supported by our highest authorities,” said Pierre Cochard, Ambassador of France to Serbia.
The joint activity will help Serbian LSGs develop and manage resilient local road networks and other mobility infrastructures.
Nicola Pontara, Serbia Country Manager for the World Bank, said: “This project is a crucial step towards promoting practical and green mobility solutions, improving access to markets, employment, and basic services for all citizens of Serbia. We are delighted to embark on this journey with the Serbian authorities and the AFD.”
Dominique Hautbergue, AFD Regional Director for the Western Balkans, added: “As AFD, we are proud to collaborate with the Serbian authorities and the World Bank in designing and implementing this innovative project, which will reinforce public transport networks and promote active mobility, making Serbian cities more livable and environmentally friendly.”
The project, co-financed by AFD (€176.8 M) and the World Bank (€88.4 M), is implemented by the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, with funding allocations available for 145 LSGs of Serbia over the next 4 and a half years of the project implementation