UNDP’s and EU’s support to disaster risk reduction in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mar 17, 2017

Today in Bijeljina United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of the new two-year regional project "Building Urban Resistance in South-East Europe - Action Network" (SEE URBAN), which is jointly funded by the European Union and UNDP, held the first meeting with the partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The participants were presented with the objectives of the Project, as well as experiences and best practices from Croatia in the field of reducing the risk of disaster and building a functioning system of protection and rescue.

The floods that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014 have shown the flaws in the defense against disasters that were reflected, among other things in the absence of institutional cooperation between local governments and higher levels of government, as well as the exchange of good practices between institutions.

“Project URBAN SEE is of great importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina. We have an opportunity to build on our efforts in this area and establish efficient mechanisms of coordination between institutions in order to reduce the risk of disasters at the local level which is the one that is first exposed to disasters, and to prevent casualties and minimize economic damage”, said Aida Hadzic-Hurem, UNDP’s head for projects of disaster risk reduction.

The meeting, which was organized in coordination with the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Republika Srpska and the Association of Cities and Municipalities of the Federation of BiH, had active participation of key actors in the field of disaster risk reduction - the BiH Ministry of Security, the entity administrations of civil protection, units of local governments, and representatives of the Platform of Croatian Counties and Cities for Disaster Risk Reduction.

URBAN SEE project, which is worth EUR 577,000, has been implemented since January 2017 in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo* , FYR Macedonia and Serbia. The goal of the URBAN SEE project is to apply and adapt the best practices of disaster risk reduction in order to reduce the consequences and protect people, environment and property from natural disasters in the units of local governments. Key project activities are to establish a model of association of local governments and exchange good practices in the field of disaster risk reduction, strengthening of institutional capacity and raising awareness of citizens.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence