FACT SHEET: USAID ASSISTANCE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (1996-2014)

Since 1996 the American people have contributed more than $1.6 billion to improve the lives of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and help lay the foundations for the country’s future. USAID’s assistance has helped the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
 
Rebuild
  • Completed 1,600 infrastructure repair projects, worth $372 million.
  • Repaired bridges in Brcko, Brod, Dubica and Novi Grad.
  • Restored power plants, ensuring a stable power supply to 1 million people.
  • Reconstructed water systems, schools, health clinics, roads, and power lines, directly helping more than 100,000 refugees and displaced persons return to their homes. 
Create Jobs
  • Provided 600 loans worth $162 million to help businesses restart operations and employ more than 16,000 citizens. No other single program had such a profound impact on economic recovery after the war.
  • Connected 600 companies (171 women-led) in the wood and metal processing and tourism sectors to new international markets, creating 2,900 new jobs and increasing sales (+30%) and exports (+37%) of beneficiaries.
  • Guaranteed 247 loans ($47.5 million), helping to create or sustain 4,400 jobs. 
  • Provided 300 unemployed youth of Srebrenica with practical work experience through internships.
Reduce Rural Poverty
  • Assisted more than 500 small farmer and agri-business groups (more than 18,000 beneficiaries across BiH) to expand production, improve product quality and access new markets. While the rest of the agricultural economy was shrinking, total sales of USAID beneficiaries increased by 45%.
  • Helped develop and introduce new disease-resistant raspberries and blackberries for export.  
  • Helped overcome constraints for the export of food products to the EU. Fish and honey now eligible for export; milk and potatoes expected to become eligible soon.
  • Provided nearly $9 million in grants to microcredit organizations for loans to more than 5,500 small farmers, creating 1,247 new jobs and helping nearly 12,000 indirect beneficiaries.
Develop a Better Business Environment
  • Reduced time to obtain a construction permit from 260 days to less than 60.
  • Introduced tax reforms, increasing revenue collection by 15% and the number of registered taxpayers by 12%. 
  • Established the state-level Deposit Insurance Agency, substantially increasing deposits in commercial banks. 
  • Formed, staffed, and trained three electricity regulatory commissions.
Introduce More Efficient Justice System
  • Updated court procedures for the first time in 34 years, cutting in half the time taken to resolve a case.
  • Introduced modern case management practices in 18 prosecutors’ offices.
  • Reduced Supreme Court’s backlog by 75%. 
  • Created Justice Network of 64 civil society and legal professional groups, successfully partnering with government and advocating for legal reforms, including adoption of juvenile protection law.
  • Introduced use of audio equipment to record hearings to increase transparency and accuracy. 
Increase Accountability
  • Freedom of Information law and law on registering non-governmental organizations adopted and implemented.
  • Whistleblower protection law introduced and passed.
  • Improved business and journalism practices in more than 100 media outlets.
  • Assisted over 100 organizations to effectively monitor government performance and advocate for policy changes.
  • Created 84 one-stop local government centers, cutting in half waiting times for many services. 
  • Created the first Women’s Caucus in the Balkans, uniting 22 women members of parliament from different political parties and ethnicities. 
Promote Tolerance
  • Created and integrated violence prevention curriculum into mainstream education. 
  • Facilitated conflict resolution among youth in 31 ethnically mixed communities through more than 784 community development projects.  
  • Worked with 120 victim organizations to provide psycho-social support to 220 survivors and organize 100 speaking-out events reaching more than 4,000 citizens. 
 

Last updated: January 29, 2014

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