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Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The stability and prosperity of the Western Balkan countries constitute an essential aim for Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland’s engagement in the region began in the 1990s, when it provided humanitarian assistance and refuge for many people affected by conflicts. Over the years, Switzerland and the Balkans have developed close political, economic and cultural ties, marked by geographical, human and economic proximity and documented by a sizeable diaspora living in Switzerland.

Starting with humanitarian assistance in 1996, Switzerland’s cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina has gradually shifted to supporting transition processes and European integration. Today, Switzerland ranks among the largest bilateral cooperation partners of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021–24 is based on a trusted partnership and mutual interests. It represents a strong commitment supporting the economic, social and political reform processes in the country, in a volatile environment hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and its ensuing effects.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has made progress towards political and macroeconomic stability, but considerable challenges remain. To tackle these, Switzerland will continue to support the country in specific sectors in line with the priorities defined by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and will work with partners who can accelerate reforms and develop new perspectives and opportunities. It takes into account the needs and the challenges Bosnia and Herzegovina faces and leverages Switzerland’s comparative advantages and interests in key areas.

Building on Switzerland’s long-term presence in the country and earlier achievements, the Swiss Cooperation Programme 2021–24 focuses on three thematic areas: Economic Development and Employment, Health, and Local Governance and Municipal Services. Switzerland has relevant expertise in all three areas and we are confident that we can make an effective contribution to the further development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We count on the ownership and leadership of our partners to achieve lasting reforms and results. The financial framework for the Cooperation Programme 2021–24 comprises CHF 63 million, whereas the total amount of Swiss funds for Bosnia and Herzegovina may reach a maximum amount of CHF 79 million.

The Swiss Cooperation Programme 2021–24 was developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), in close consultation with the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), as well as government offices and partners from the civil society and the economic sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The SDC and SECO cooperate and coordinate closely in the implementation of the Cooperation Programme, through the Swiss Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We are confident that the goals and priorities set out in this programme will contribute in a relevant way to the sustainable and inclusive development of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the well-being of its people.

Download the Swiss Cooperation Programme 2021–24