Sarajevo, January 28, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
Almost two years have passed from the catastrophic floods in BiH, but many facilities have yet to fully recover and the country is still in need of assistance.
One of the countries that were in the first row of those who helped the citizens is Norway, which gave significant financial support to those who was affected by the floods. A big part of this assistance was implemented through the UNDP programme of help. That was the reason Norwegian Ambassador to BiH, Vibeke Lilloe, and UN Resident Coordinator, Sezin Sinanoglu, to visited participants of the rehabilitated milk sub-sector value chain in Zenica-Doboj Canton and the Health Care Centre in Doboj. Those two projects are examples of the UN Floods Recovery Programme activities funded by the Norwegian Government and aimed at the economic recovery and rehabilitation of public institution and services they provide.
“BiH needed assistance to recover from the devastating floods in May 2014 and we did our best to help. Our assistance implemented through the UN Floods Recovery Programme focuses on the crucial needs of any one person that lost everything to the floods, starting from rehabilitation of homes, over communal infrastructure and public services to economic recovery. I am glad to see that our funds were utilised to help so many people and to create normal living conditions in the floods affected communities”, Ambassador Lilloe said.
As it was announced from UNDP in BiH, the revival and modernization of the milk value chain in Zenica-Doboj Canton included provision of new production equipment to dairy processing plant in Zenica, ZIM, and the rehabilitation of farms and milk collection points, as well as provision of animal feed and animal feed production machinery to 308 farmer families, who supply milk to ZIM.
“Since the beginning of the UN Floods Recovery Programme in July 2014 we aimed to build-back-better and to improve on what was there before the floods. As a result, 308 farmer families have increased their production of milk which enabled the local dairy company to further increase its own production and revenues and to increase the number of employees from 91 to 96. In short, just in Zenica-Doboj Canton we have helped secure jobs and incomes for more than 400 families. In the another project, the newly equipped Health Care Centre in Doboj is now able to provide better services to 174,000 people”, Sinanoglu said.
The Health Care Centre in Doboj was provided with new medical equipment and six vehicles, including an ambulance, all of which had been destroyed during the floods.
The UN Floods Recovery Programme is worth USD 22.6 million and is funded by 28 bilateral donours, with the single largest donour being the Norwegian Government which contributed almost USD 4.5 million.