The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 50 million loan with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republika Srpska (one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina) aimed at the construction and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation infrastructure in the country. This will help to improve the quality of life of the country’s citizens and meet Bosnia and Herzegovina’s needs regarding future compliance with EU environmental legislation.

The project purpose is the protection of public health and the environment from water pollution, while maintaining a balanced development of water supply and sanitation as well as safeguarding the financial and operational viability of the water companies.
In detail, the EIB loan will finance an investment programme for the water and wastewater sector in 24 municipalities throughout Republika Srpska, covering a population of some 250.000 people.

Each project may concern:
  • water resource infrastructure;
  • water supply systems;
  • extension of drinking water treatment facilities;
  • waste water collection systems;
  • waste water treatment facilities;
  • bulk and consume metering.
In 2008, the EIB financed a similar project by a EUR 60 million loan to the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The EIB loan will cover up to 50% of the total costs of the planned projects that will be co-financed by the budgets of the Republika Sprska, EU Instrument for Pre-Accession and bi-lateral funds.

Notes to editors:

The EIB is the bank of the European Union. Established in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome, it operates in the 27 EU Member States and is active in more than 130 other countries. Outside the EU, the Bank supports projects that contribute to economic development in countries that have signed association or cooperation agreements with the EU.

The EIB has been active in the Western Balkans since 1977 and is today the largest international financier in the region. Over the past ten years, it has financed projects totalling over EUR 6 billion in the area. The Bank's focus in the Western Balkans has been on the implementation of transport, energy, health and education projects, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local authorities, industry and services, water and sanitation.

Total EIB financing in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the period 2001-2010 amounts to EUR 1.1 billion. The EIB’s activity in the country so far has concentrated on financing projects in the transport, energy and environment sectors and projects undertaken by SMEs.