Grants for cooperation with diaspora signed with ten municipalities

Jul 4, 2017

Today, grant contracts have been signed in Sarajevo with the mayors of ten municipalities participating in the project 'Mainstreaming the Concept on Migration and Development into Relevant Policies and Plans – Diaspora for Development D4D'. Development strategies of municipalities of Jajce, Ključ, Laktaši, Ljubuški, Maglaj, Nevesinje, Posušje, Prijedor, Sanski Most and Velika Kladuša now include cooperation with diaspora as one of the important objectives, and the grants will allow for the implementation of concrete projects contributing to better cooperation with the diaspora and development of local communities. Some of the projects include the development of professional training programmes for CNC operators, medical teams for oesophagus surgeries or integrated agricultural production for access to the EU market.

"Signing of the grants between UNDP, which is implementing the project with ten local governments, will specifically contribute to improving socioeconomic opportunities and perspectives for women and men in these municipalities, including job creation, increased revenue and establishing services for diaspora involvement in local development," said Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UNDP BiH Resident Representative.

According to official estimates, some 2 million people originally from BiH now live in about 50 countries around the world. Approximately 60,000 people from BiH live in Switzerland alone, maintaining strong links to their roots. Recognising the potential for cooperation with the sizable community of BiH diaspora around the world as well as the obstacles they face, the Swiss Government supports national institutions in their efforts to improve links and relations with the diaspora.

"Through the project Diaspora for Development we wish to encourage the diaspora and their municipalities of origin to work together on developing their local communities. Diaspora members must feel welcome in their homeland. Anyone willing to invest, share knowledge, personal and professional experiences, connections and networks must be able to do so," said Ms. Barbara Dätwyler Scheuer, Cooperation Director with the Embassy of Switzerland in BiH.

Migration and Development Project is supported and funded by the Government of Switzerland, aimed at advancing cooperation with the diaspora, whilst respecting mutual needs and adequately targeting the potential, experience, knowledge, skills and investments from the diaspora. Project partners include the BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 15 municipalities across the country, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in BiH.