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Bosnia gets $35 million in project funding from World Bank

Representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the World Bank signed Friday in Sarajevo financing agreements for several projects amounting in total to nearly $35 million, the World Bank said in a statement.

Two new projects and two supplemental financing agreements for existing projects would be financed from soft loans signed with the World Bank, according to the statement. The soft loans would support investments in agriculture and rural development, urban infrastructure, forest development and conservation, as well as preparedness against an avian influenza outbreak. Some $21 million in credit would be invested in agriculture and rural development to “strengthen the capacity of the state and entity institutions in delivering more efficient and effective agricultural services,” World Bank country manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina Marco Mantovanelli said.

The credit agreement would also accelerate Bosnia and Herzegovina's eligibility to access funds under a European Union scheme for countries wishing to join the 27-member bloc, Mantovanelli said. Nearly $3.5 million would go for forest development projects, while the bird-flu preparedness project and the urban infrastructure project would be financed with $5 million each. The projects are financed through "soft loans" with no interest and a 25-year repayment period, including a 10-year grace period. The World Bank currently supports 16 projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina worth over $300 million. (m&