The “Diaspora for Development” project has been successfully completed, and has contributed to improving the socio-economic opportunities for the diaspora to invest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This was said today at a press conference in Sarajevo, where the project partners presented the results.
“We have created a portal and network that enables live communication and contacts between members of the diaspora among themselves, and between members of the diaspora and people from BiH. We organized a series of meetings between companies, and we managed to motivate members of the diaspora to invest more than six million KM in various projects in BiH. We are proud of that and we will continue to work in that direction, that is, to encourage members of the diaspora to invest in BiH,” said the UNDP Resident Representative in BiH, Steliana Nedera.
During the project, it was said, more than 3,000 people were engaged in various public consultations, which provided input on how the legal framework and conditions could be improved to enable more people from the diaspora to contribute to BiH’s development.
“One of the main lessons learned from the pilot phase of the project is that the diaspora can contribute to job creation and livelihood at the local level. Estimates say that about 2.2 million people from these areas live outside BiH. This is a significant number in which we see the opportunity and chance to return their knowledge, experience, skills, resources and capital to BiH and thus help the development of local communities, but also society as a whole,” said the Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH Miloš Lučić.
He thanked the project partners, the Swiss Embassy in BiH, which provided most of the funding for the project, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which implemented the project.
“Through this project, we wanted to stimulate the diaspora to contribute to the development of BiH. People from the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees helped us with that. During the project, more than 3,000 people were able to improve their personal income, and we had cooperation with more than 100 companies that were able to improve their work by exchanging experiences with members of the diaspora. We have also collaborated with more than 300 public institutions. Switzerland will remain engaged in the field of migration and development,” said the director for development cooperation at the Swiss Embassy in BiH, Siroco Messerli.
He added that 60,000 people live in Switzerland who originally from BiH and actively contribute to development and society, Fena news agency writes.