FACT SHEET: Strengthening Social and Health Protection in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Speeches Shim

USAID's'Strengthening Social and Health Protection in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic' will address the devastating effect the pandemic has had on citizens in BiH, especially the socio-economic impacts.
UNICEF/Djemidzic

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected all countries and global markets. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), disjointed health and political systems have been unable to adequately address the pandemic. COVID-19 has dramatically slowed projected economic growth, disrupting the income and earnings of many in BiH and upending education for children, preventing them from learning the skills that will allow them to join the workforce.

USAID ASSISTANCE

To support BiH children and the economy during and after the pandemic, USAID has partnered with UNICEF in a two-year, $4.8 million project to strengthen BiH's response to and recovery from COVID-19. This project, 'Strengthening Social and Health Protection in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic', will address the devastating effect the pandemic has had on citizens in BiH, specifically the socio-economic impacts.  

IMPLEMENTATION

To address COVID-related disparities throughout the country, USAID will focus on efforts to improve economic growth and access to education, two sectors that have been devastated by the pandemic.

Project interventions fall into one of two main components:

   1.  To improve education outcomes and better prepare students for the workforce, this project will develop new blended learning techniques that help schools adapt to online learning and integrate them into classroom instruction. We plan to work on this activity with partners throughout the country: 150 schools; government institutions including cantonal/entity Ministries of Education and Pedagogical Institutes; the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education (APOSO); and, the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

   2.  To help revive the economy and get BiH citizens back to work, this project will work with a variety of government entities and implementing partners to support vaccination efforts to help people return to their jobs and thus revive the economy. UNICEF will work with the BiH governments on social and health protection to ensure that workers can return to work, helping to stimulate the economy. Through this project, USAID will also introduce integrated case management in the Centers for Social Welfare; develop a shock-responsive social protection system; and advocate for technical guidance for more affordable and accessible child care.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Strengthening socio-economic conditions in BiH will move the country toward self-reliance, a development objective of USAID. The project addresses major gaps in the education, social protection, and health sectors in BiH necessary to spur the economic development that has been hit hard by the COVID 19 pandemic. The planned interventions also contribute to harmonization with EU standards.

Specific project objectives are:

·       Improve access to learning

·       Make education systems in BiH inclusive, engaging, and adaptive

·       Strengthen health systems to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts

·       Strengthen social protection to support economic recovery

PROJECT DETAILS

·       Location:  Countrywide

·       Duration:  April 2021 - April 2023

·       Key Counterparts:  Cantonal/entity Ministries of Education and Pedagogical Institutes; the Ministry of Civil Affairs; the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education; and the Centers for Social Welfare

·       Implementing Partner:  UNICEF

·       USAID contact:  Marinko Sakic, Program Management Specialist. Email: usaidsarajevo@usaid.gov

Last updated: September 14, 2021

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