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Results Briefs August 17, 2020

Restoring infrastructure for public services and economic recovery in flood affected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Heavy rainfall and catastrophic floods took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in May 2014, directly affecting more than a quarter of the entire population and causing damages and losses amounting to $2.8 billion across the country. The BiH Floods Emergency Recovery Project (2014-2019) responded to the crisis by restoring functionality of infrastructure essential for public services for 868,895 people in flood affected areas.

Bosnia and Herzegovina experienced heavy rainfall and floods in May 2014 and by the end of the month, there were at least 1 million people directly affected in 60 municipalities across the country. The floods affected an area covering more than one-third of the country’s territory and caused over 3,000 landslides, resulting in damages and losses amounting to $2.8 billion, 15 percent equivalent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014. 51 percent of damages and losses occurred in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), 48% in Republika Srpska (RS) and 1 percent in Brčko District (BD), affecting livelihoods, employment, housing as well as infrastructure essential for public services.

In partnership with the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and with support of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the World Bank helped the government prepare the Recovery Needs Assessment (RNA). Approved in quick succession in June 2014 and allocated from the International Development Association (IDA)   Crisis Response Window (CRW), the BiH Floods Emergency Recovery Project aimed to address the urgent crisis in the short-term by prioritizing activities based on results of the RNA and to support local governments during to the recovery phase to help “building back better” in BiH for the long-term. The project focused on rehabilitating agriculture, transport, and water and sanitation, the three most disaster affected sectors delivering public services and essential for economic recovery. It also financed the purchase of emergency goods during and shortly after the emergency period.

The key results achieved by the project between 2014 and 2019 include the following:

  • 868,895 people directly benefited from project activities for improved public services, including 443,136 women;
  • 27,000,000 emergency goods were distributed via entity-level strategic reserves, fully in line with the established schedule;
  • 26 percent of affected farms benefited from government support;
  • 58,109 piped household water connections benefited from rehabilitation works;
  • 263 kilometers (km) of rural roads and 63 km of non-rural roads and 35 bridges were rehabilitated;
  • 56 landslide rehabilitation activities were completed;
  • 19 public facilities including schools, health facilities, priority public buildings, draining ditches were rehabilitated;
  • 137 public officials were trained on disaster risk management.

Bank Group Contribution
The project was funded by a credit amounting to $100 million, allocated by the IDA Crisis Response Window (CRW); $47.5 million of the funds were allocated to FBiH, $47.5 million to RS and $5 million to BD.

The project benefited from strong partnership between the Governments in BiH and the World Bank. The project’s implementation arrangements were built upon existing units and institutional capacities of ongoing World Bank projects in both the FBiH and RS. The preparation of the RNA, based on which the project’s activities were prioritized, was done in partnership with the EU, UN and with support of the GFDRR. 

Moving Forward
BiH is prone to floods and the likelihood that floods of similar intensity will hit the country again is significant. Building resilience to natural shocks, continuing the active policy dialogue on disaster risk management (DRM) and ensuring to build capacity of local institutions in DRM are key to mitigate the effects of future occurrences, especially in face of climate change.

The BiH Floods Emergency Recovery Project directly benefited 868,895 people, including 443,136 women and helped distribute emergency goods and provide rehabilitated public service infrastructure.