Joint UN programme launch Disaster risk reduction and sustainable development In Bosnia and Herzegovina


22 February 2019

United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of the Government of Switzerland, with a symbolic ceremony in Maglaj 22. February announced the beginning of the 4-year programme for disaster risk reduction and sustainable development, focused on local communities.

Joint UN programme “Disaster Risk Reduction for Sustainable Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina“  total value of 8.4 million BAM will support citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on the most vulnerable population groups and high-risk local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to prepare for and adapt to disaster risks and shocks across various development sectors.

 „Did you plan prevention activities in your 2019 budgets? Do you have business continuity plans? Do these take into account the needs of the vulnerable group?” – reminded on this occasion UN Resident Coordinator in Bosnia and Herzegovina Sezin Sinanoglu adding:  „Although progress has been made, a lot still needs to be done and we are together setting the course including this new Joint UN DRR Programme. Disasters prevention is not a task of single Ministry, local community, institution or agency, but the obligation of all of us. Starting from every and each individual to the high governing levels. This is a joint effort and only as such can be successful and enable the creation of safe and resilient communities.

Director of Swiss Cooperation, Barbara Dätwyler Scheuer expressed satisfaction with the fact that this programme will support the development of preventive mechanisms and plans.  “Nobody can prevent the rain from falling, and it might be difficult to prevent a river from overflowing, but you can prevent people to build their houses in zones that are known to be dangerous, and you can build up a community that is prepared to respond quickly if a disaster strikes.

Landslides do not kill people but a lack of urban planning and collapsing buildings do. I am pleased that jointly with the UN we will start one of the biggest and most comprehensive DRR project in Bosnia and Herzegovina ever. The project aims at reducing the risks of disasters in 10 municipalities. This is a start. I am convinced that by reducing the risks to an acceptable level, we can save many lives, protect even more livelihoods and reduce economic losses substantially.”– said Ms Datwyler Scheuer.

The Joint UN Programme aims to address key DRR priorities identified by local governments and various stakeholders across various sectors: protection and rescue, education, social and child protection, health, and agriculture. The Programme puts special emphasis on improving local DRR coordination mechanisms, as well as affirming risk-informed strategic planning processes with a focus on the most vulnerable population groups.

The Programme’s end-result strives to support people – with focus on the most vulnerable – and high-risk local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to prepare for and adapt to disaster risks and shocks across various development sectors. The Programme aims to introduce and operationalize an integrated model of disaster risk governance and livelihood enhancement at the local level, as a springboard to a bottom-up introduction of DRR governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Representatives of participating UN agencies, Swiss embassy representatives, relevant partners from institutions at all levels of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as hosts from Maglaj municipality attended today's ceremony. Maglaj representatives will share their experiences and lessons learned in other communities included in the new programme.

UN agencies responsible for its implementation: the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) in partnership with local authorities. 


For additional information:

Ajla Mostarac, UNDP:

Nela Kačmarčik, UNICEF:

Majda Prljača, UNFPA:  

Lejla Hrelja, UNESCO:

Vlado Pijunović, FAO:



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