Sarajevo - The European Union and its lending arm, the European Investment Bank, have signed deals with Bosnia worth 68 million euros ($75 million) to help improve the Balkan country’s water supply, flood protection and transport infrastructure.
A 30-million-euro loan for improvements to the water supply, waste water and storm water networks will open up access to drinking water for up to 147,000 Bosnians and improve sanitation services for about 70,000, the European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Tuesday. Another loan for 19 million euros will help bolster flood defences along the northern Sava river and its basin in Bosnia’s autonomous Serb Republic, by constructing dykes and channels and rehabilitating river beds, the bank said in a statement.
The funds will be repaid over 25 years, including a five-year grace period. Bosnia applied for EU membership in 2016 but, after some initial progress, political quarrels among its Orthodox Serb, Catholic Croat and Muslim Bosniak leaders stalled the process.The EIB will also provide a 1.2-million-euro grant for technical assistance to help infrastructure projects, prepare tender documentation and manage procurement processes. The EU will provide a grant of up to 19 million euros for the development of a section of a highway that runs from Budapest to the Croatian port of Ploce.