The Local Integrated Development Project, LID, funded by the European Union with 6.6 million Euros and implemented by the United Nations Development Program, is producing results in the Doboj, Žepče and Maglaj regions, said the EU Delegation to Bosnia. Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation Melvin Asin and Deputy UNDP Resident Representative in Bosnia Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, visited the LID Project beneficiaries and representatives of the local authorities. In the past 18 months, the LID Project supported implementation of 108 initiatives worth a total of 25.7 million KM. Over 3 million KM was invested in new technologies and workforce training, while 90 new jobs were created in 14 small and medium enterprises. In addition to providing assistance to existing enterprises, the project is also actively working on attracting new investment; the following months are expected to see commencement of production in five new companies where total investment amounted to over 10 million KM and 160 new jobs are expected to open.
“This project, which we implement with UNDP, represents EU commitment to support the flood affected municipalities in making a transition from flood recovery to development. The municipalities we are visiting today were left devastated by floods and landslides. Today, there are few traces of destruction, in large part thanks to the EU investments. The LID project has picked up where recovery has left and we have been able to see a series of important accomplishments in these three local communities we are visiting today, Žepče, Maglaj and Doboj. The Local Integrated Development approach means among others support to SMEs and creating opportunities for new jobs, which we have today witnessed with the two companies we visited. I hope that we will be able to find and support other businesses in BiH who can follow these excellent examples of flourishing businesses and employment opportunities,” said Asin.
Deputy UNDP Resident Representative Khoshmukhamedov emphasized the public funding management estimate as an extremely important aspect of the LID Project: “More than 15.5 million KM of potential savings were identified in 19 local governments, and 1 million KM has already been saved in the last three months. Expectations are that the local authorities will be able to re-invest the savings in additional improvements to the citizens’ standard of living.”
Over the past period, LID also supported the economic development of partner municipalities and towns. The Project provided support to nearly 240 agricultural producers who now grow soybeans and raspberries. 157 persons were hired in five partner municipalities through a public works program. Almost 40 infrastructural projects were supported through LID, including construction of business zones, new public institutions, and water supply systems for local communities.