Joint Swiss UN Programme: Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Given the climate change projections for the region, by the end of the century, the Western Balkans can expect an increase in the frequency, unpredictability and intensity of flooding, drought, heatwaves and wildfires. This will have an adverse effect on the GDP of each country, multiple sectors and, more importantly, the lives and livelihoods of people.

Climate change and high exposure to natural and man-made hazards further hurdle the country socio-economic development. The 2017 World Risk Report ranks Bosnia and Herzegovina as a country of high exposure to natural hazards.

Despite obvious trends, the incidence of catastrophes has not been prompted by an appropriate approach to disaster management caused by climate change, including a stronger engagement in the application of preventive measures.

Out of 145 local governments in the country, 91 are considered under very significant risk from floods and landslides and 27 - under high risk. In the past 12 years, six years were very to extremely dry. Also, years with large to disastrous floods are very common.

The wider consequences from all these could be devastating: according to the Recovery Needs Assessment conducted after the May 2014 floods, 81 local governments were affected with 75% of damages and losses borne directly by families, businesses and agricultural producers, including an undefined number of vulnerable population groups. Subsequently, one of the underlying recommendations of the assessment is to strengthen resilience at the local level through disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.

As the level of government closest to the citizens, local governments are on the frontline of the response in all disasters. Their significant exposure to hazards offers them the opportunity to initiate changes in order to reduce the risk of disasters at the local level.

What we do?

The "Reducing Disaster Risk for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina" is a joint program of the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations (UN) worth 8.4 million BAM. The Joint Swiss UN Programme "Reducing Disaster Risk in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Sustainable Development" will support Bosnian citizens, especially the most vulnerable categories and high-risk local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to prepare and adapt to the risks of disasters and strikes in different sectors of development.

The program will introduce and operationalize an integrated risk management and disaster risk management model at the local level to initiate disaster risk management from lower to higher levels of government.

At the same time, the program will facilitate the affirmation of the "model" of the system of preparedness and prevention at the local level with the potential of spreading throughout the country.

UN agencies responsible for its implementation: the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) in partnership with local authorities.

Key Activities

The Joint Swiss UN Programme will address key priorities in disaster risk reduction (DRR) identified by local authorities and various actors in the sectors: protection and rescue, education, social and child protection, health and agriculture.

The program places particular emphasis on improving local coordination mechanisms in the area of disaster risk reduction, as well as on affirmation of the strategic risk planning process with an emphasis on the most vulnerable categories of population.

Outcome 1. At least 10 Local Government Units have adopted disaster risk reduction strategies, have established partnerships for effective intervention in disaster risk reduction, and fund activities that build community resilience and are therefore better equipped to prevent and respond to catastrophes.

Outcome 2. Citizens at targeted locations, especially the most vulnerable categories of the population, are more resistant to catastrophes.

Selection of the partner local governments will be done based on relevant criteria’s such as risk assessments, vulnerability and exposure to disasters, human and technical capacity, existence of local development strategies and other relevant criteria.



Start date:


Estimated end date:


Focus Area:

Energy and Environment


Government of Switzerland


Ministry of Security BiH, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH; Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH; Ministry of Labour and Social Policy of FBiH; Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of RS; Ministry of Health of FBiH; Ministry of Education and Science of FBiH; Ministry of Education and Culture of RS; Ministry of Spatial Planning of FBiH; Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of RS; Civil Protection Directorate of FBiH;    Civil Protection Directorate of RS; Local Government representatives;  relevant cantonal ministries of education (identified upon selection of target municipalities).

DRR for Sustainable Development in BiH

Sustainable Development Goals targeted by Joint Swiss UN Programme



Project start date:

January 2019

Estimated end date:

December 2022

Focus area:

  • accelerate structural transformations
  • Project office:

    UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Implementing partner:

    United Nations Development Programme

    Full project information  

    Funding Support by

    Donor name

  • Government Of Bosnia And Herzegovina
  • Mptf-disaster Risk Reduction For Sustainable Development In Bosnia And Herzegovina Joint Programme
  • Amount contributed


    Delivery in previous fiscal year

    2021 $41,173

    2020 $424,368

    2019 $199,839

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