Paquet: Results of EU post-floods recovery assistance in Šamac are concrete

The Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) of the European Commission, Jean-Eric Paquet and the Head of the BiH Unit at DG NEAR, Michela Matuella, together with the Deputy Head of EU Delegation to BiH, Renzo Daviddi, officially opened the Health Care Centre in Šamac today. The Centre has been rehabilitated by the EU Floods Recovery Programme.

The EU officials also visited other locations in Šamac which received assistance from the EU’s flood recovery funds, including the Municipality Building, Secondary School “Nikola Tesla” and Elementary School “Šamac”. The delegation also visited the Alžirac settlement, where private homes for 28 families have been rehabilitated with EU assistance.

Šamac was heavily affected by the floods in May 2014 and most of its public institutions and a large number of homes were severely damaged. The European Union is investing an estimated 3.28 million EUR (6.42 million KM) for recovery assistance in the municipality via the EU Floods Recovery Programme. The EU is financing the rehabilitation of 5 public institutions, out of which 3 schools and the Health Care Centre have already been completed, while rehabilitation works on the Municipality Building are ongoing. The EU has also financed the rehabilitation of a bridge in Gornja Slatina, and awarded an enterprise recovery grant to 1 SME in the Šamac municipality, thereby contributing to retention of 23 jobs. 364 private homes are slotted for rehabilitation with the EU’s assistance in the Šamac municipality, out of which more than 140 houses have already been completed, thus enabling more than 500 people to return home.

“I visited Šamac in the immediate aftermath of the floods last year and it is remarkable to see how the town has recovered from the damage caused by   the floods. The EU Floods Recovery Programme has contributed significantly to the recovery process here and I am pleased to see that the results of our considerable financial assistance are visible and concrete. However, much more remains to be done and we remain committed to support Šamac and other flood-affected areas of BiH, also in the future when Bosnia and Herzegovina has completed the procedures related to the Framework Agreement. Through the EU Floods Recovery Programme, in the coming months we will deliver more concrete results directly improving  peoples’ lives “, said Jean-Eric Paquet.

“We are immensely grateful for the timely and generous assistance that the EU has provided through its Floods Recovery Programme for rehabilitation of homes, public buildings and infrastructure in our municipality, implemented in cooperation with the UNDP”, said Savo Minić, Mayor of Šamac.

The Šamac Health Care Centre, which has 17,700 registered beneficiaries, suffered extensive damage in the floods. The floodwaters damaged the exterior and interior of the buildings and destroyed laboratories and equipment. The total investment by the EU Floods recovery Programme for the rehabilitation of the Centre comprised 253,925 EUR (496,634 KM), and the works included installing a new heating system, construction of a new boiler room, new flooring, joinery replacement, refurbishing of walls and façades as well as reconstruction of the water and sanitation systems.

“Thanks to the EU assistance, we have managed to reinstate services for all our beneficiaries. The EU funds were used to rehabilitate two buildings of the Health Care Centre, which has directly contributed to us being able to provide services to the citizens again. A new boiler room was built and new heating system installed with emphasis on energy efficiency in all our premises. Our citizens can now expect a healthier future with adequate health services provided by this rehabilitated institution,” said Dragan Ilinčić, Director of the Šamac Health Care Centre.

The EU Floods Recovery Programme was launched to restore normal living conditions in local communities and ensure that the assistance reaches the most vulnerable ones in the aftermath of floods in May 2014. Financial aid is used for rehabilitation of the buildings for public services, infrastructure, housing units for the most vulnerable people and for socio-economic recovery of local communities.

The value of the overall Programme is 43.52 million, out of which 42.24 million is provided by the European Union. This assistance is a part of the funds that the European Union pledged at the donor conference in Brussels in July 2014. The Programme is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

For more information visit the EU Floods Recovery Programme feature page and EU Floods Recovery Programme Facebook page

Gallery of Health Care Centre in Šamac before and after reconstruction available here:

Gallery of Secondary School ‘Nikola Tesla’ in Šamac available here: