More than 120,000 citizens benefited from Financing Mechanism for supporting local development in RS

May 23, 2017

The results of the Financing Mechanism for supporting local development in Republika Srpska (RS) which were presented in Banja Luka today, showed that more than 120,000 citizens benefited from 18 projects implemented during its first two cycles with the investment of almost 2 million BAM. With the help of Financing Mechanism, utillity, administrative, health and education services in the municipalities and the cities of RS have been improved. The support has also been provided in the development of rural areas and has secured livelihood for more than 700 agricultural households. The Financing Mechanism directly contributes to the realization of development priorities which were determined by strategic documents of RS, and indirectly strengthens inter-municipal cooperation and exchange of knowledge and experience at local level.

Financing Mechanism, during its first two cycles, functioned as a mutual initiative of RS Ministry of Finance and RS Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government, which was implemented by RS Investment and Development Bank, with the supports from the“Integrated Local Development Project” (ILDP), which is supported by the Government of Switzerland and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

 “Presentation of the results of Financing Mechanism has shown that this approach contributes to the improvement of quality of life for citizens of Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina, , considering that targeted support is provided for the priorities in line with the development strategies of local communities,” said Adela Pozder-Čengić, UNDP BiH Rural and Regional Development Sector Leader.

„Having in mind the success of the Financing Mechanism and its benefits to local development, I would encourage the Government of Republika Srpska to further embrace this mechanism as a truly domestic instrument and expand its financial and sectoral scope. The Financing Mechanism helps local governments to address the priorities which are based on the real needs of the citizens. The Government of Switzerland is ready to provide further support in this endeavor”, stated Barbara Dätwyler Scheuer, Director of Cooperation at the Embassy of Switzerland in BiH.

Successful results showed the importance of the Financing Mechanism for local development and in this regard the representatives of the Embassy of Switzerland and UNDP as well as representatives of local governments expressed the hope that the RS Government will fully take ownership of these financial instruments in the forthcoming period.

"The Government of the Republika Srpska has supported the Financing Mechanism, as response of institutions to the development needs of local governments," said Milanka Šopin, Assistant Minister in the RS Ministry of Administration and Local Self Government, and pointed out: "The established Financing Mechanism has been identified in the RS Strategy for development of local government in 2017 - 2021, as a great opportunity for the realization of the development needs of local governments, especially those in the category of underdeveloped and extremely underdeveloped areas."

"The Financing Mechanism supports the local development, and the successful implementation of development activities in the forthcoming period depends on commitment of all stakeholders, primarily the local communities as main beneficiaries," said Ivan Vidović, IRBRS Executive Director.

The EU has ensured financial assistance for the third cycle of Financing Mechanism under the EU IPA –and currently implementation of nine projects worth more than a million BAM is ongoing. These projects are being implemented through the EU and UNDP’s project “Local Integrated Development” (LID).