The EU Floods Recovery Programme to create 5,500 jobs
The EU Floods Recovery Programme today launched the second phase of support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the May 2014 floods, to enable them to re-establish and further increase their pre-floods production level.
The first phase of support to SMEs was successfully implemented in 2014 and it included 56 enterprises. Due to efficiencies and operational savings, the Programme extended its support and included additional 61 companies in its grants scheme, bringing the total number of supported SMEs up to 117.
“The grants provided by the European Union to these companies to support their economic recovery has so far generated significant new incomes and safeguarded and created 5,500 jobs. This great success is not only important for the assisted companies but also for their communities, as their participation in local trade and economy provides further stimulus for development,” said the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to BiH, Melvin Asin.
The economic rehabilitation component of the EU Floods Recovery Programme is of great importance as it is helping to set communities affected by the floods on a path towards economic growth that is even greater than the one expected prior to the floods.
“Economic recovery and development are our common goals. The EU Floods Recovery Programme which we are implementing is helping achieve that goal by turning devastating blow to economy in the floods affected communities into economic growth and prosperity,” said the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in BiH, Zahira Virani.
The floods had a negative impact on these companies – by hindering their production capacities due to loss of equipment and damage to their facilities, and by hampering their ability to acquire the necessary raw materials, and as a consequence, jobs were put at risk.
The companies have been selected as recipients of the EU grants after a rigorous application and verification process.
“Had we not received the support of the EU we would have had to shut down our company and leave more than 30 people jobless. The aid we received enabled us to restart our production and to hire 20 more people. We now have some 60 employees and aim to further expand our production and market,” said Rankica Panić, Director of Premijer d.o.o., a textile company from Doboj.
In addition to the SMEs, the EU Floods Recovery Programme, through its economic rehabilitation component is also assisting 1,270 commercial agricultural producers and farmers through an overall investment of EUR 5.26 million.
The EU Floods Recovery Programme worth EUR 43.52 million is funded by the European Union in the amount of EUR 42.24 million and implemented by the UNDP, UNICEF and IOM.
For more information on the Programme’s economic rehabilitation activities please see Fact Sheet http://europa.ba/?p=38565.