US Government launches a new Project in BiH worth 12.8 Million US Dollars

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) today launched a new project of the US government titled “Assistance to local governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The five-year project, worth 12.8 million USD, will support 30 cities and municipalities in improving the quality of life and responsibility towards citizens.

The US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Michael Murphy said at today’s launch of the project that few things are as important for the success and prosperity of a country as a strong local government where citizens are the center of attention.

“The government’s work at the local level has the most direct impact on the quality of life of citizens, and at that level, citizens have the opportunity to directly insist on the responsibility of their political leaders. Local governments that respond to the needs of citizens and are transparent in their work represent the basis of democracy and the first line of defense against the widespread corruption that is eroding this country,” Murphy said.

Murphy and the mayors and heads of selected municipalities, where more than half a million BiHs live. citizens, signed joint statements to officially mark the beginning of cooperation.

The first group of partner municipalities includes Gradačac, Lopare, Modriča, Petrovo, Šamac, Teslić, Tuzla, Vareš, Zavidovići, Zenica and Žepče. The application for the second round, for the remaining 18 local government units, will be published later in the year.

The new project will support partners in building sustainable, economically profitable cities and municipalities, as well as in improving the provision of services to citizens.

Over the next five years, the project will mobilize at least 1.8 million dollars of public and private investments for local development projects, improve laws and regulations for more efficient and responsible work of local government, support up to 40 public-private partnerships, educate 2,500 people in the field of local government, establish citizen advisory panels in all partner municipalities, and involve more than 17,000 citizens in various initiatives and activities in local communities.

In selected municipalities, the project will also work on modernizing the digital infrastructure in order to provide more efficient public services to citizens, while fighting against ubiquitous corruption at the same time.

The project will also help municipalities attract private investment in local communities, simplifying procedures and adjusting incentives to create new jobs, and will support more effective communication with all citizens, including the most vulnerable groups of society.

Special support will be given to inclusive processes, in order to hear the voice of all citizens, especially marginalized and neglected groups, the private sector and civil society.

The US government is committed to providing support to local governments whose role in the development of Bosnia and Herzegovina is crucial. The new USAID project Assistance to Local Government will contribute to creating a brighter and more prosperous future for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To date, the American government, primarily through USAID, has secured two billion dollars in aid to support economic, democratic and social progress in BiH, the USAID announced.