Financial Mechanism for Local Development Projects in RS Established
Aiming to systematically address development needs of local governments in Republika Srpska, Zahira Virani, Deputy Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Zoran Tegeltija, Minister of Finance of the Republika Srpska, Lejla Rešić, Minister of Administration and Local Self-Governance of Republika Srpska, Ms. Snežana Vujnić, Director of the Investment and Development Bank of Republika Srpska and Joseph Guntern, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a financing mechanisms for local development in the RS.
Throughout the first year, the financial mechanism will place at this disposal of RS municipalities and cities approx. 540,000 US$ for local projects originating from participatory local development strategies, selected in a competitive and transparent manner. Out of this total amount, 400.000 US$ is provided by the SDC through the UNDP Integrated Local Development Project (ILDP), while approximately US$ 140.000 will be provided by the Government of Republika Srpska.
“Since it is a common goal that local communities implement projects identified as priorities in their strategic documents, it is of great importance that local development is supported in the framework of an integrated system at all levels”, emphasised Joseph Guntern, Director of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation on this occasion.
Based on the criteria that will be defined, the funds available within the financing mechanism will be allocated in 2014 on a transparent and competitive basis, targeting projects that will contribute to economic development and improving quality of life at the local level.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Zahira Virani, noted that development projects originating from local development strategies are based on the real and legitimate needs of population and expressed her belief that this financing mechanism would be further expanded and seen as a platform to be utilised by other donors and domestic stakeholders.
During the previous months, as part of the Integrated Local Development Project and in cooperation with the institutional partners, important policy processes were initiated. These processes will ultimately contribute to a harmonised and more efficient strategic planning at various government levels and strengthen the “bridge” between the strategic and budgetary frameworks of local governments and higher government levels.