FACT SHEET: Bosnia and Herzegovina Country Profile

Since 1995, the U.S. Government, primarily through USAID, has provided more than $1.8 billion in assistance to support democratic, social, and economic progress in BiH and to advance the country toward its goal of EU membership. Much of that investment was focused on post-war reconstruction and the establishment of government institutions. Today, USAID focuses on improving the rule of law and fight against corruption, boosting the private sector, and improving inter-ethnic relations.

OUR WORK

DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE

Building Accountable Institutions

USAID is helping BiH build more functional and accountable institutions that meet citizens’ needs. A main focus is rule of law, where USAID is helping prosecutors tackle corruption, while strengthening the organizational capacity of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. USAID also assists BiH parliamentary bodies and political parties to develop, draft, advocate and implement legislation that is more responsive and accountable to their constituents. Over the past 18 months, USAID has re-engaged in the media sector, supporting local outlets to generate high-quality content, transition effectively to electronic media platforms, and secure legal protection for journalists.

Encouraging Civic Activism

USAID strengthens the role and capacity of civil society organizations to increase citizen participation in political and social decision-making. This includes increasing public pressure to implement anti-corruption reforms required for Euro-Atlantic integration, and supporting the activities of local organizations that advocate for the rights and dignity of under-represented groups and minorities.

Reconciliation

Conflicting historical and political narratives concerning the 1992-1995 war continue to define the perceptions and attitudes of people at every age and level of society in BiH. To build trust across communities and at the national level, USAID’s reconciliation programs engage citizens from all walks of life—political, government, religious, and education officials, as well as youth, women, associations of war victims, and civil society groups—and provide opportunities for these BiH leaders and citizens to challenge their own beliefs and then start transforming their communities. One program helps increase trust and partnership among youth through organized country-wide sports leagues.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

Encouraging Entrepreneurism

USAID’s economic development programs support private sector growth and increased access to EU and regional markets. USAID provides technical assistance, training, and grants to small and medium-sized enterprises in targeted sectors in the economy—agriculture, wood and metal processing, textiles, and tourism—to increase productivity, improve quality, and strengthen technical/vocational capacity of staff. A new initiative is trying to mobilize BiH’s large diaspora community to invest. Loan guarantee programs with several commercial banks are helping unlock much-needed financial capital. 

Promoting a Better Business Environment

USAID assists BiH authorities in adopting and implementing EU and international standards, including those in product quality and food safety, which are necessary for Bosnian-made goods to enter foreign markets. USAID continues to support financial sector stability by helping the Central Bank of BiH and entity banking agencies to implement sound banking supervision and develop policies that promote private-sector lending. USAID has assisted BiH to establish a more transparent, modern system of direct taxation and collection of social benefits to create a more business-friendly environment. Finally, USAID promotes energy efficiency and improves energy policy to help BiH to increase competition and maximize its potential as a net energy exporter.

PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM

Through the Office of Transition Initiatives, USAID is working in communities across BiH to reduce youth susceptibility to radical influences, increasing youth engagement in their communities and strengthening community resiliency. Programming is also helping establish a “referral mechanism” to help community members effectively intervene and assist youth who are vulnerable to radicalization, as well as conduct extensive research and monitoring concerning the radicalization process, including online. A second program works with a network of teachers and school administrators to reduce the risk of violent extremism in schools and raise teachers’ awareness of the radicalization process.

 

Last updated: October 04, 2019

Share This Page