The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is intensifying its efforts to help Bosnia and Herzegovina overcome the damage caused by the floods in May this year. The Bank presented a new range of financial support programmes at a donor conference hosted by the EU in Brussels today, where the official flood damage assessment report was also unveiled.
Devastating flooding hit the Balkans in May 2014, causing loss of life and forcing thousands to leave their homes across the region. According to the new report – “Bosnia and Herzegovina Recovery Needs Assessment”, compiled by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina with support from the EU, World Bank and UN Task Force – the damage to the Bosnian economy is now estimated at €2.03 billion. Agriculture and transport are among the worst-affected sectors.
In a move designed to help Bosnia and Herzegovina accelerate its recovery from this severe damage, the EBRD is ready to extend and reallocate funding to the public and private sectors:
- Up to €58 million can be made available to the public sector subject to request by the authorities and approval by the EBRD.
- In addition, up to €100 million of financing for small and medium-sized municipalities will be available from the Municipal Infrastructure Development Fund. Resources from this EBRD co-financed fund can be used to help rehabilitate municipal infrastructure in flood-affected areas.
- In the private sector, the EBRD will use regional funding facilities, including the Local Enterprise Facility (LEF), the Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF) and the recently launched Western Balkans and Croatia Finance Framework IV (WBFF IV) to extend support to local firms directly or through local partner banks.
- Separately, the EBRD is working on new facilities that target strategic sectors.
As a long-term objective, the EBRD is ready to consider flood-prevention measures on a regional basis, in cooperation with other international financial institutions (IFIs) and donors.
Overall, the EBRD will align its activities to the priorities of the Bank’s country strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina, coordinating its efforts with other IFIs and with the government. The funds, and in particular the credit lines, will not only target flood victims but will also support wider economic recovery.
Since the start of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than €1.6 billion in over 110 projects. The Bank invests in infrastructure development, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and strengthening the financial sector.