Brussels, 16 July – Steering international support for recovery and rehabilitation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in Serbia, following recent floods, is the purpose of today’s International Donors’ Conference, co-organized by the European Commission, France and Slovenia and hosted by the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium.
Recent floods in Serbia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been the worst on record – with likely long-term consequences on the societies and the development prospects of both countries.
UNESCO supported the assessment of damages and needs in the education and culture sectors in both countries, as part of a joint effort by the EU, the UN and the World Bank, together with national authorities, to identify priorities for reconstruction.
“Rehabilitating the education and culture sectors is vital for social and economic recovery and growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia”, said the Director-General. “UNESCO stands ready to provide further support to both countries, to strengthen the resilience of their societies and institutions, to restore normalcy and foster vibrant educational and cultural environments”.
An estimated 12 million euros is required for the reconstruction of the education sector. It is critical that urgent funding for education is provided to ensure the start of a normal new school year in September 2014.
As for the culture sector -- in particular, the rehabilitation of affected cultural centers, archives, libraries and museums -- an amount of approximately 4 million is required. The revitalization of cultural infrastructure and services at the local level in both countries is essential as prolonged interruption of services could have a damaging impact on the education system and, more broadly, on local development.
The needs assessment reports presented at today’s Conference show that an estimated amount of 3.5 billion euros is needed for the reconstruction of the flood-affected areas in both countries.