The Slovenia Times

Donor Conference for Bosnia and Serbia Raises EUR 1.8bn


Serbia was promised EUR 995.2m, out of which 879.4m are loans, while Bosnia was promised EUR 809.2m, of which EUR 670.7m are to be provided as loans.

"This is above expectations and I am very pleased that Slovenia initiated a conference that raised so much money," outgoing Defence Minister Roman Jakič commented after the event, which initially expected to raise around EUR 1.5bn.

Slovenia had already donated EUR 3.6m and another million today for the two countries that saw large parts of their territory devastated by high waters in early May. The flood affected more than a million people and many are still not able to return to their homes.

Slovenian outgoing PM Alenka Bratušek pointed in her address to the conference to the danger of social disaster and underlined the importance of immediate action. She also underscored the importance of effective flood prevention and transparent distribution of funds.

Chairman of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency Bakir Izetbegović said in his keynote that the floods spurred a never before seen level of cooperation in the Balkans.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić, who also delivered an emotional keynote, promised that Serbia will return the friendship and underlined that this was a time for solidarity.

"The damage is estimated at EUR 4bn and today we collected funds that are urgently needed for life to return to its usual tracks," Bratušek said after the conference.

While Bosnia mostly needs funds to restore schools, houses, mines, factories and infrastructure, the focus for Serbia is on energy infrastructure.

The conference was moreover addressed by EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle, Commissioner responsible for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The donor meeting, initiated by Slovenia and co-organised by France and hosted by the European Commission, brought together some 400 representatives from 62 countries, international financial institutions, organisations, NGOs and companies.


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