BiH: State budget a priority for countering COVID-19

BiH: State budget a priority for countering COVID-19

The International community High Representative to BiH Valentin Inzko fully supports the coordinated measures taken by the authorities at different levels of government in BiH to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“These challenging times have shown that political and institutional leaders are able to effectively work together for the same purpose”, Inzko notes in a written statement.

He added that the ongoing close cooperation and coordination alongside the focus on targeted measures in a sense of urgency could empower the BiH authorities at all levels to respond adequately to the crisis and safeguard the health of its citizens.

Those measures provide, first and foremost, the preservation of the uninterrupted, adequately financed and unimpeded functioning of the BiH institutions. To that end, it is the responsibility of the BiH Council of Ministers, the BiH Presidency and the BiH Parliamentary Assembly to promptly adopt a regular state-level budget for 2020.

“This would lift the limitations arising from temporary financing that could seriously impact BiH’s ability to adequately respond to the COVID-19 crisis or any other extraordinary situation that the country may confront. The absence of a budget would also affect the ability of the BiH institutions to discharge their constitutional and legal obligations, including the organization of the October 2020 Municipal Elections, as well as numerous other important issues”, Inzko underlines.

Politicians should under no circumstances exploit this crisis to push other agendas on the side. In addition, unilateral and uncoordinated activities have limited value to battle the COVID-19 crisis. On the contrary, they divert attention and resources away from areas where their presence and assistance could be of real use for the citizens.  Instead, leaders need to ensure that any actions are swift — but also transparent, coordinated, and focused on helping the citizens of this country.

The High Representative also urges citizens to fully follow the instructions of the authorities. Without the full cooperation of every individual, the pandemic cannot be tamed and will cause further unforeseeable damage. Instead, citizens should demonstrate their best behaviour when facing the biggest challenges. /ibna