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With funds from Japan, UN agencies to extend youth project in Balkans

With funds from Japan, UN agencies to extend youth project in Balkans

The Japanese Government has pledged $400,000 to extend a United Nations-implemented initiative to build confidence among ethnically divided young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The project, carried out by United Nations Volunteers and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), supports and complements the Government's strategy towards building confidence amongst divided groups at the community level, UNEP said in a statement issued today in Geneva.

The $400,000 will allow the project to continue for another year. Project activities during the last two years were implemented with the support of the Government of Ireland and by UN Volunteers through its Special Voluntary Fund. The project was implemented in 11 municipalities in the federation, five municipalities in Republika Srpska and the district of Brcko.

UN Volunteers have so far organized 39 workshops in 18 focus areas with over 600 participants. More than 350 young people have attended six summer camps designed to promote peace and understanding of cultural differences.

Over the next 12 months, three more municipalities will be included in the project. Activities will be expanded to concentrate on reconciliation, empowerment and sustainability, all of which are deemed necessary in post-conflict Bosnia and Herzegovina.

UNV is the volunteer arm of the UN system. It extends hands-on assistance for peace and development in nearly 150 countries. Created by the UN General Assembly in 1970 and administered by UNDP, the programme works through UNDP country offices to send volunteers and promote the ideals of volunteerism around the world.