SARAJEVO – The results of the independent evaluation of the EU Floods Recovery Programme were presented to BiH stakeholders Tuesday in Sarajevo, EU Delegation to BiH stated.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme, which was implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in BiH in partnership with UNICEF and International Organisation for Migration (IOM), helped normalise living conditions in flooded communities of BiH in the aftermath of the May 2014 floods. With a budget of EUR 43.5 million, the two-year programme supported the quick restoration of vital public sector infrastructure, the emergency reconstruction of dwellings for the most vulnerable, and the revitalisation of the local economy and agriculture production.
As the programme came to an end last year, GEOtest a.s, a Czech consultancy company, was commissioned by the EU Delegation to BiH to perform an independent evaluation of the EU FRP. The evaluation found the design and programming of the EU Floods Recovery Programme highly relevant to the needs of the flood affected areas. The integrated approach adopted by the programme (combining housing, infrastructure, business and livelihoods support) was highlighted as the programme’s principal strength by government authorities, final beneficiaries and other donors.
The report concluded that the Programme was efficiently implemented making a decisive contribution to the rehabilitation of flood-affected areas. 14,474 vulnerable people were able to return home, 50,467 children were able to resume school with minimal disruption, municipal services serving 188,000 citizens and healthcare centres serving 300,000 patients were made functional again. 5,952 jobs were retained or created thanks to the support granted to the SME and agricultural sector.
The evaluation identified lessons learned for future recovery programmes and made a series of recommendations to ensure the sustainability of the Programme’s results, reduce the risk of future floods/natural disasters and improve the socio-economic life of the flood affected regions.
In particular, the report emphasises the need for further flood protection and prevention measures in line with the country’s Flood Protection and River Management Action Plan for BiH 2014-2017. More vigorous actions are also necessary at the local level: the report identifies a need to build the capacities of municipalities with disaster risk reduction management and to address the lack of funding for preventive measures in this area. The report also calls for further support to the SME and agricultural sector to consolidate the fragile economic recovery of flood affected areas. Finally, the reports notes that the Programme revealed the poor state of many schools and kindergartens across the country highlighting the need for large scale investment to improve teaching conditions and environment for the children of BiH.