Charge d’Affaires of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr Renzo Daviddi visited Prijedor and Kozarac today. The visit focused on sites rehabilitated and supported by the EU Floods Recovery Programme, a 43.5m EUR Programme helping Bosnia and Herzegovina to recover from the floods in May 2014.
Prijedor is a large recipient of EU’s flood recovery assistance, with the total investment comprising 2,08 million EUR. EU’s assistance covers rehabilitation of 8 schools and more than 200 private houses for the vulnerable population, 4 local infrastructure objects, as well as 3 recovery grants to SMEs and support to local agricultural producers.
“The European Union is committed to helping the people of Prijedor to overcome the negative impact of the floods and it is great to see that visible impact of our assistance can be seen all around the city today. The recovery funds, provided by EU taxpayers, are making a real difference for people across Bosnia and Herzegovina and they also send a strong signal of solidarity, which is very much present here in Prijedor as well. We want people to know that we are here to work with you and help you get back on the road to recovery”, said Dr. Daviddi.
Dr. Daviddi visited the Elementary School “Dositej Obradović” and attended a ceremony to officially mark the completion of EU-funded rehabilitation works in the School. Following a programme performed by the school’s pupils, Dr. Daviddi toured the rehabilitated facility in which the EU invested around 140.000 EUR (274.500 KM) for new sanitary systems, joinery replacement, roof reparation and purchase of furniture, didactic, sports and lab equipment.
“Thanks to EU funds, our students and employees now have decent conditions for working and studying, as the school was never renovated since it was built in 1982, and the catastrophe in May 2015 only worsened the school’s state. We will repay you with many good grades and successes in our work and schooling,” said Stevica Džogazović, the Director of “Dositej Obradović” Elementary School.
Dr. Daviddi also visited the premises of Lim Profi d.o.o, a local company damaged in the floods, which received an EU recovery grant of 25,500.00 EUR (50,000 BAM) for procurement of raw materials for production and shaping roof tin quilts, thus helping the company to get back to business after the floods.
“We are a small company which suffered great damage during the last year’s floods. In our efforts to try to revive the production and preserve jobs, we applied for EU funds through the livelihoods component of the EU Floods Recovery Programme. The EU funds have helped us to recover quickly and to return to our regular activities, as well as to ensure continuity of production, thereby allowing us to keep all our old employees and to hire three new colleagues ,” said Anel Ališić, Executive Director of Lim Profi d.o.o. company.
The visit also included a tour of a reconstructed local road in Kalata, Kozarac, where the floods destroyed the existing river embankment and hence endangered a local road which is used regularly by 30 local households. The EU Floods Recovery Programme invested 19,000 EUR (37,000 KM) in the reconstruction of a concrete retaining wall, which is intended to provide long-term stability for the road and guarantee safe commuting for the local community.
The final stop of the visit was the Elementary School “Kozarac” in Kozarac, where the floodwaters severely damaged the school’s boiler room, causing the already old furnaces to become non-functional. The ongoing EU-funded works on this site include setting up of a new heating system, complete renovation of the boiler room, hydro-insulation of the boiler room and flooring. The EU investment in the works is 80,000.00 EUR (156,400 KM)
“After 12 years of a very bad heating and cold premises in the school, which were then completely destroyed in the floods, our school is now getting one of the best quality heating systems in the country, thanks to EU assistance,” said Mirzet Mujčić, the school director, during the visit.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme was launched to restore normal living conditions in local communities and ensure that the aid reaches the most vulnerable ones in the aftermath of floods in May 2014. Funds are used for rehabilitation of public services and infrastructure, housing units for the most vulnerable people, and for social and 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).