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

Advocacy and Good Governance

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 1 – 12 of 28

Expanding the vocational education and training system and teaching skills relevant to the labour market

01.11.2014 - 31.10.2018

The SDC is working to ensure that jobseekers and insufficiently skilled workers are taught skills relevant to the labour market within the formal and non-formal vocational education and training system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The training is geared to the needs of the various economic sectors, so that workers can be deployed in a targeted manner.

Country/region Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.11.2014 - 31.10.2018


CHF 7'192'400



Working with young people to overcome gender stereotypes

A young man adds his handprint in paint to a collective charter.

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2017

Persisting macho stereotypes are a serious societal problem in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many young men display violent attitudes towards women, and these same young men are also inclined to neglect their own health. The SDC is changing attitudes and encouraging healthy lifestyles among young people by supporting a series of educational initiatives.

Country/region Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.09.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 700'000



A community-based mental healthcare system

01.03.2014 - 28.02.2018

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, much of the population is still suffering the consequences of the war which ravaged the Balkans in the 1990s. Since 2010, Switzerland has been helping the country to modernise its mental healthcare system to give patients access to high quality services in their communities.

Country/region Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.03.2014 - 28.02.2018


CHF 5'665'000



The SDC supports efforts to improve conditions for the protection of children and adolescents

Young people drawing in the schoolyard with chalk.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017

The government in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) wants to reform the country's juvenile criminal legislation and improve the conditions of detention and follow-up for  juvenile criminal offenders. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) have been conducting a project to this end since 2009.

Country/region Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 2'250'000



Strengthening the Role of Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Image of a ceremony of distributing certificates for local community and municipal representatives

01.11.2013 - 30.06.2019

Given the complex and difficult political and administrative environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina municipalities face serious challenges to serve their citizens properly, and citizens feel that their needs are not heard by politicians. The local administrative levels are considered the most dynamic and responsive ones to address citizen’s concerns. The project Strengthening the Role of Local Communities focuses on empowering Local Communities (Mjesna Zajednica – MZ) to raise citizens’ responsiveness, participation, and social inclusion in local development processes.

Country/region Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.11.2013 - 30.06.2019


CHF 4'100'000



The "Bosnia i Herzegovina"-Platform

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2025

The Bosnia i Herzegovina Platform (BiH) is an initiative of diaspora associations that are already involved in development activities. The platform will enhance cooperation and strengthen the diaspora associations’ role as development actors. SDC aims at promoting the potential of migrants for sustainable development mainly through improved framework conditions. The permanent platform as an effective and dynamic network will set the grounds for competent coordination services to diaspora organizations, to the country of destination and to the country of origin.


Market Makers in Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.06.2017 - 31.05.2021

MarketMakers (MM) addresses the high rate of youth unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the main cause for the acute brain drain. To contribute to reduction of youth unemployment the project aims at systemic changes in the ICI, food production and processing, tourism and tradable services sectors, leading to their growth, more investments and new job opportunities.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: Integrated Local Development (ILDP)

A woman and two men stand at the counter of a local administration and discuss their concerns with the official.

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2021

Through the lntegrated Local Development Project (ILDP) Switzerland supports Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in establishing a modern development planning system country wide which responds to citizens‘ needs and allows efficient use of budgets and external funds. The ILDP consolidation phase will ensure coherence of development planning and management on all governmental levels, accountability towards citizens, as well as on knowledge transfer to responsible institutions, in order to improve service delivery and accelerate inclusive growth at local level.


Schweizerisches Rotes Kreuz (SRK) / Swiss Red Cross (SRC) (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

The SRC’s overall goal is to contribute to healthy and safe living for vulnerable groups and communities. Since access to quality health care services remains a key factor for good health, the SRC promotes both supply and demand side of local health systems. As healthy living also depends on the environment, SRC focuses on health determinants such as water, sanitation, nutrition and health literacy. Adressing risks and disasters, SRC programmes encompass disaster risk reduction measures and foster community resilience.


BiH Diaspora Plattform

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2019

Das Projekt schaff den Rahmen für einen relevanten Beitrag der BiH Diaspora in der Schweiz an die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung, die Demokratiebildung sowie die Stärkung der sozialen Kohäsion im Herkunftsland, da sich ein signifikanter Teil der BiH Diaspora in der Schweiz aufhält. Eine ethnisch und konfessionell unabhängige BiH Diaspora Plattform kann eine doppelte Brückenfunktion sowohl innerhalb der heterogenen BiH Diaspora als auch im fragmentierten Gefüge von BiH haben.


Brot für alle / Pain pour le prochain (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

En tant qu’organisation de développement des églises protestantes suisses, Pain pour le Prochain a le mandat d’informer et de former, de s’engager dans la politique de développement et d’assurer la qualité. Pain pour le Prochain et les onze œuvres partenaires forment une communauté de coopération (KoGe)[1] qui est un réseau d’apprentissage avec des objectifs spécifiques. Ce réseau permet notamment de joindre le travail de politique de développement en Suisse et le travail au Sud. Son objectif commun est de contribuer à une transformation du système et des comportements économiques, sociaux, politiques et écologiques.

 

[1] Les œuvres sont les suivantes : Pain pour le prochain, cfd (Christlicher Friedensdienst), Mission 21, International Blue cross, Connexio, DM-échange et mission, Heilsarmee, Horyzon, MEB-handicap visuel, SME (service de missions et d’entraide) , Tear Fund Schweiz, HEKS 


Caritas Schweiz (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

La stratégie de coopération internationale 2020 de Caritas s’intitule « End Poverty ». Pour y contribuer Caritas Suisse s’engage en faveur de la justice sociale et de la dignité humaine dans 40 pays avec 250 projets. Le programme de Caritas considère trois aspects dans son programme qui permettent la durabilité du développement humain: couvrir les besoins de base, promouvoir la résilience et créer des opportunités d’égalité en améliorant l’équité. Dans sa conception, Caritas considère la coopération au développement et l’aide humanitaire comme intégrées dans une seule démarche.

Object 1 – 12 of 28