Bosnia and Herzegovina

Switzerland is assisting Bosnia and Herzegovina in its transition towards a democratic society and social market economy. Cooperation activities focus on supporting inclusive political reform, encouraging economic development and strengthening the health sector.

Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina
© FDFA

The Dayton Peace Agreement put an end to the war in Bosnia in 1995 following four years of devastation and bloodshed. The agreement still influences the political structure of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), a fragile state split into three parts: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, inhabited mainly by people of Bosniak and Croat origin; Republika Srpska, where mainly people of Serb origin live, and the District of Brčko, a self-governing administrative area. 

Ethnic divides still influence the country’s politics and reform is slow. The economy suffers from severe structural deficits and there is 54% unemployment among young people aged between 15 and 24. Social and economic divides are growing and nearly 50% of the population is exposed to some form of discrimination. Nevertheless, BiH applied to join the European Union in February 2016 and its application was accepted in September of that year. However, the country must still overcome important hurdles to become a member state.

Democratic governance, municipal services and justice

In its cooperation with BiH, Switzerland is helping to develop accountable institutions tailored to citizens’ needs by improving access to public services and making them easier to use. The inclusion of marginalised groups is a key concern. Furthermore, Switzerland is working to increase decentralisation in politics, the tax system and administrative matters by encouraging better cooperation between the different levels of government. It is also supporting reforms in the justice system to rebuild citizens’ confidence in their institutions and society as a whole.

State and Economic Reforms

Healthcare

The aim in this sector is to guarantee universal access to good-quality primary healthcare and equip people with knowledge to help them to make better choices and adopt more healthy lifestyles. Switzerland’s efforts to set up primary healthcare services focus on the development of nursing services, on community mental healthcare and on preventing chronic diseases, which will reduce sector costs in the long term. 

Health

Economy and employment

Switzerland’s efforts in BiH encourage a business-friendly environment and new job opportunities. The two countries are working at the regional level to increase the transparency and efficiency of public finance mechanisms, while efforts to improve economic framework conditions envisage private sector growth and access to foreign markets for Bosnian businesses. 

Alongside these efforts, Switzerland is helping to fight unemployment among young people. It is assisting in the development of vocational education and training courses geared to market demand. It is also supporting government employment agencies in efforts to reintegrate unemployed people in the job market, with particular focus on disadvantaged groups including women.

Basic education and vocational training

Private Sector Development and financial services

Migration

In 2009, Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a migration partnership to deal with the challenges and exploit the positive economic and social potential of migration. In the event of a continuation of the mass migration movements from the Middle East, which have particularly affected the Balkans region, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to be prepared.

Migration

Organisation and partners

Switzerland coordinates its transition cooperation with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with other donor countries and organisations such as the UNDP, the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group. The principles of good governance and equal rights are an integral part of all programmes of the SDC and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Switzerland's main partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina are:

  • Swiss NGOs, e.g. Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
  • Swiss partners: Cantons of Geneva, Jura, Fribourg and Bern; Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Zurich, Geneva University Hospitals
  • International NGO: CARE International
  • Multilateral organisations, e.g. UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, World Bank
  • National partners: Government departments, regional and local authorities (bodies, cantons, municipalities) and civil society organisations
  • Co-funding partners: Sweden, Norway, Germany

Documents

Current Projects

Object 25 – 32 of 32

Wastewater management Republika Srpska

01.04.2019 - 31.12.2024

The project continues SECO's engagement in the waste water sector in BiH and responds to the challenges of the sector in the Republika Srpska (RS) like enforcement of legal framework, water pollution, coordination between public bodies and skills of the professional staff to manage, operate and maintain the wastewater systems.


Wastewater Collection and Treatment in Zenica

01.12.2017 - 31.12.2021

The project, co-financed with the German Development Bank (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, KfW) entails the construction of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and necessary measures for the municipal wastewater network. Additionally, activities for Corporate Development of the public utility and minor urban development measures are planned.


IFC Debt Resolution Program, Phase II

01.11.2017 - 31.03.2022

The Debt Resolution Program contributes to effective debt management frameworks in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo.


Regional Capacity Development Network for Water and Sanitation Services

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2020

Switzerland is a longstanding and important partner of public water supply providers in the Western Balkans. The Regional Capacity Development Network is a signficant additional contribution towards building a professional work force in the region required for a sustainable and inclusive provision of water and sanitation services to the population.


Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.


Tuzla and Zenica floods rehabilitation and Disaster Risk Reduction measures

01.01.2015 - 30.05.2021

The project, which SECO co-finances with the German Bank for Development (KfW), contributes to ensuring reliable and affordable water supply in the municipalities of Tuzla and Zenica in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This component (budget increase) focuses on additional measures for Disaster Risk Reduction.


Europe and Central Asia : PPP Transaction Advisory Program

01.06.2011 - 31.12.2022

The ECA Program, managed by the International Finance Corporation IFC, is providing infrastructure transaction advisory and capacity building services to the public sector authorities to promote Public-Private Partnerships in Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.


Water Programme Zenica and Tuzla

04.12.2010 - 30.09.2021

The project, which SECO co-finances with the German Bank for Development (KfW), contributes to ensuring reliable and affordable water supply in the municipalities of Tuzla and Zenica in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. To a lesser extent the project also support the rehabilitation of the sewerage network in Zenica.

Object 25 – 32 of 32