Representatives of 12 local governments and the Investment and Development Bank of Republika Srpska signed contracts on implementation of projects that aim to improve quality of life of citizens, in line with local development strategies. More specifically, 8 out of these 12 projects seek to improve delivery of services at the local level, tackling diverse populations such as pre-school children, women and senior citizens. The projects will also address some of the burning issues at the local level, including waste management and public infrastructure.  Additional 4 projects focus on development of rural areas through creating business opportunities for small agricultural producers.

The projects come under the 5th annual cycle of the Financing Mechanism for Local Development in Republika Srpska, established in 2014 by the RS Ministry of Finance, the RS Ministry for Administration and Local Self-Governance, the RS Investment and Development Bank, the Government of Switzerland and the UNDP. The Financing Mechanism is operationally managed by the RS Investment and Development Bank, with aim to provide effective support to realisation of local priorities aligned with more comprehensive development priorities of the RS and as such is a long-term instrument to “bridge” development efforts of the local and RS level.

The overall volume of the Financing Mechanism in 2018 is slightly above BAM 1,1 million, out of which the RS Government secured BAM 700,000 and the Government of Switzerland provided BAM 420,000 through the Integrated Local Development Project (ILDP). Importantly, local governments whose projects have been selected for funding will secure co-financing in the total amount of BAM 1 million.  Implementation of 12 local governments' projects will result in direct benefits for over 58,000 citizens and income generation streams for 180 agricultural households.

“Citizens identify their needs and priorities through local development strategies, while projects like this enable implementation of those priorities”, said Ms. Dimka Stantchev Skeie, Head of Governance Section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ms. Aida Laković Hošo, ILDP Project Manager, emphasized that the Financing Mechanism for Local Development has proven to be an effective tool for systemic Government’s support to local development priorities.

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