About 300,000 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from increased flood protection with support from new World Bank financing approved by its Board of Directors.
The additional resources will help geographically expand the first phase of the Sava and Drina Rivers Corridors Integrated Development Program in Bosnia and Herzegovina to include the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Brčko District. Financing for Republika Srpska was approved in August 2020.
For years, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been at risk of water hazards and natural disasters, which affect agriculture and human health through seasonal flooding and periods of drought. The projected impacts of climate change make the country increasingly vulnerable to more intense rainfalls and floods directly affecting the Drina and the Sava, the largest tributary of the Danube, the second-longest river in Europe.
The additional World Bank financing of EUR 37 million will help deliver much-needed infrastructure investments, such as dikes, dams, and water reservoirs, that support flood protection and improve environmental management in the country.
“This project is a perfect example of enhancing Bosnia and Herzegovina’s climate resilience in times when environmental threats are stronger than ever,” said Christopher Sheldon, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. “The project's focus on enhancing regional cooperation, both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Western Balkans, aligns perfectly with our vision of a greener and more prosperous future for the region.”
The initiative is part of a larger program that covers three riparian countries of the Sava and Drina rivers—Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. The integrated approach of this program combines funding for flood protection, environmental management, and port modernization activities to enhance connectivity along the Sava and Drina Rivers Corridors.
The World Bank, as stated in its strategy for Bosnia and Herzegovina, is committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina in mitigating the impact of floods, strengthening regional collaboration, and promoting sustainable development. This project marks a significant step forward in achieving these objectives and in creating a more resilient and interconnected future for the region.