The European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed a €1.2 million cooperation agreement with Republika Srpska to support water and sanitation services. Through the water sector rehabilitation programme, the funds will ensure the effective execution of activities and rapid preparation of the investment projects, with expert technical assistance services. The project aims to upgrade the quality of water and wastewater services, provide these services to unconnected households and improve living conditions for over 216 000 people.
The funds are being provided under the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI), as part of the European Union’s response to the challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkans, through financial support for key infrastructure and private sector development.
EIB Vice-President responsible for Bosnia and Herzegovina Lilyana Pavlova said: “At a time when the world and region are facing dual crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, these kinds of projects help us prepare better for the future emergencies. Adaptation to climate change and mitigation of its consequences are essential for sustainable growth in the region. At the same time, this investment has direct benefits for people’s lives by ensuring them safe and reliable access to drinking water and wastewater services.”
Minister of Finance in the Government of the Republic of Srpska Zora Vidović thanked the European Investment Bank for the successful cooperation so far, which has enabled the implementation of large infrastructure projects in Republika Srpska, building kilometres of water supply network, roads and hospitals, and added that this cooperation continues with this important project that will improve water supply services and solve wastewater problems in local communities, and contribute to environmental sustainability in the Republika Srpska.
This investment is part of an EU-funded project approved under the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) in 2019 to support the implementation of the water and sanitation programmes in the Federation and in Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina. To date, the EIB has invested €242 million for water and sanitation infrastructure and flood protection systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina, contributing to environmental protection and improved conditions for people across the country.
The EU bank has been active in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1977. To date, the EIB has invested €3.2 billion, mostly to the transportation sector and to small and medium enterprises.