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Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN launches broad recovery programme for Srebrenica region

Bosnia and Herzegovina: UN launches broad recovery programme for Srebrenica region

The United Nations and its principle development agency today announced a broad recovery programme for the Srebrenica region, one of the areas most damaged and traumatized by the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The $12.5 million Srebrenica Regional Recovery Programme (SRRP) is a comprehensive development framework that seeks to revitalize the human and physical capital of Srebrenica and the neighbouring municipalities of Bratunac and Milici, according to UN officials who launched the project at a news conference in Sarajevo. The project is a joint effort of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).

The Programme “represents a significant impetus to the development of a region that has remained marginalized, trapped in poverty and the bleak past of war, and which is at the same time crucial to consolidating peace, a modern European state and a successful, sustainable economy in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Henrik Kolstrup, the UNDP Resident Representative, told a donors’ meeting yesterday.

For his part, Jacques Paul Klein, the head of UNMIBH, said the SRRP offered the opportunity to provide people "with the hope and encouragement to build a better future for themselves, their families, and generations to come."

With the focus of the SRRP on four interrelated components - economic development, housing and infrastructure reconstruction, support to municipal governance, and civil society capacity building - the direct beneficiaries of the Programme will be returnees to the three municipalities and legal residents in the region, the UN officials said.

The SRRP framework is based on UNDP's previous experience in supporting sustainable return, which has been successful in the Central-Bosnian Canton, Posavina and Brcko District. UNDP was the first organization to introduce an integrated approach to sustainable return, confirming that Bosnia and Herzegovina is moving towards development after the post-conflict phase.

The three-year Programme, which was presented to donor representatives in Sarajevo yesterday, will be the subject of a donors' conference 13 May at UN Headquarters in New York.