The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected all countries and global markets. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), disjointed health and political systems have not been able to adequately cope with the pandemic. COVID-19 has significantly slowed expected economic growth, disrupting the incomes and earnings of many people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and improving children’s education, preventing them from acquiring the skills that will allow them to join the workforce.
To support the children of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the economy during and after the pandemic, USAID has partnered with UNICEF on a two-year, $ 4.8 million project to strengthen the response from Bosnia and Herzegovina to COVID-19 and its recovery. This project, “Strengthening social and health protection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”, will address the devastating effects of the pandemic on the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in particular the socio-economic impacts.
To address COVID-related disparities across the country, USAID will focus on efforts to improve economic growth and access to education, two sectors that have been devastated by the pandemic.
Project interventions are divided into two main components:
To improve educational outcomes and better prepare students for entering the labor market, this project will develop new blended learning techniques that will help schools adapt to online learning and integrate them into online education. class. We plan to work on this activity with partners across the country: 150 schools; government institutions, including ministries of education and cantonal / entity educational institutes; the Agency for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education (APOSO); and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
To help jumpstart the economy and get the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina back to work, this project will work with various government entities and implementing partners to support immunization efforts to help people get back to work and thus boost the economy. UNICEF will work with the governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina on social and health protection to ensure that workers can return to work, thereby helping to stimulate the economy. Through this project, USAID will also introduce integrated case management in the Centers for Social Welfare; develop a social protection system responsive to shocks; and advocate for technical advice for more affordable and accessible child care.
THE PROJECT’S OBJECTIVES
Strengthening socio-economic conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina will move the country towards self-reliance, a development goal of USAID. The project fills major gaps in the education, social protection and health sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina needed to boost economic development which has been hit hard by the COVID 19 pandemic. Planned interventions are also contributing to harmonization with EU standards.
The specific objectives of the project are:
Improve access to learning
Make education systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina inclusive, engaging and adaptive
Strengthen health systems to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts
Strengthen social protection to support economic recovery
Duration: April 2021 – April 2023
· Main interlocutors: Ministries of education and educational institutes of the cantons / entities; the Ministry of Civil Affairs; the Agency for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education; and social protection centers
· Implementing partner: UNICEF
· USAID Contact: Marinko Sakic, Program Management Specialist. E-mail: [email protected]