Press Release

FAO and Bosnia and Herzegovina – one year into the implementation of the 2021-2025 Country Programming Framework

20 March 2023

Working towards the 2025 vision: deeper collaboration with municipalities and prioritization of Food Systems Transformation

FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia (REU DRR) and the De Facto Head of the Country Office to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) – Nabil Gangi, has recently completed his Country Programming Framework (CPF) implementation monitoring mission to the country to reaffirm FAO’s strong positioning as an engaging and reliable partner at all state, entity and municipal levels. That mission coincided with the upcoming meeting between the FAO Director-General- QU Dongyu, and the Chairperson of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina - Zeljka Cvijanovic, during which the expansion of the FAO’s cooperation with the country is being discussed.

On 10 March 2022, the FAO strategic framework document for the next cycle from 2021 to 2025 was officially endorsed and co-signed – the document represented the firm commitment of both counterparts: FAO and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina to work jointly towards the improvement of the rural economies and rural livelihoods, leaving no one behind, through 2025.

More than 12 months after the official signature ceremony into the CPF implementation, the FAO Country Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina has delivered strong results and achievements, which have been presented by the REU DRR to state and entity-level partners at the highest level in his meetings with the key line Ministers. As of March 2023, the size of the total programmatic portfolio corresponding with the 2021-2025 CPF cycle (including the closed and pipeline projects) has exceeded USD4mil. – this corresponds with the 65% CPF resource mobilization achievement rate. In 2022 FAO Country Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina succeeded in diversifying its base of international and BiH partners, having initiated close collaboration with the Global Environment Facility, Green Climate Fund, Joint SDG Fund, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH in its capacity of a designated authority for the Global Environment Facility and the Ministry of Physical Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republika Srpska in its role as Nationally Designated Authority for the Green Climate Fund. Under the current CPF cycle, the Better Environment will be the most dominant environmental dimension of the agri-food systems in BiH, given the volume of the mobilized resources from the GEF and GCF multilateral funds.

Caption: FAO REU DRR – Nabil Gangi’s meeting with Bojan Vipotnik, Minister of Physical Planning, Civil Engineering and Ecology of Republika Srpska

Photo: © Vlado Pijunovic, FAO

Starting in 2023, Bosnia and Herzegovina is included as a part of the FAO’s global 1000 Digital Villages initiative, which is focused on expanding the access and use of digital tools in agri-food systems and rural territories. In 2023 and 2024, this FAO’s regional project will be aligned with the existing European Smart Villages initiative, and it would facilitate the exchange of knowledge, technical and training exchanges and technology transfer among the rural communities. During his mission to the country, REU DRR conducted visits to both ‘pilot’ villages, which became the project sites of the regional Digital Village Initiative, having had official meetings with the Mayors of Kakanj and Pale municipalities. During those meetings with the local municipal partners, the incubation of alternative agri-solutions was discussed, which would entail launching the pilot interventions linking digital agriculture and agritourism.

Caption: Visit to the Digital Village Initiative project site in Kakanj municipality and meeting between Mirnes Bajtarevic, the Mayor of Kakanj municipality, and Nabil Gangi, REU DRR
Photo: © Vlado Pijunovic, FAO

In terms of the way forward, strengthened food security and food systems transformation would define the FAO’s CPF vision in BiH until the 2025 horizon. FAO is committed to supporting the development of the national pathway for food systems transformation in the country – work led by the recently-appointed National Convenor - Slobodan Cvijanovic, Assistant Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, in close collaboration with the Food Systems Coordination Hub and the UN country team led by Ingrid Macdonald, the UN Resident Coordinator in BiH. The country is still at the beginning of its journey of developing the National Pathways for national food systems transformation, which would be designed in a comprehensive manner, going beyond the thematic areas of only agriculture and rural development and including a wide range of different stakeholders.

"2022 became the year when the issues related to food security, food availability and food affordability rose high in the global agenda. It became evident that achieving food security for any country in the 21st century requires a sustainable transformation of the entire food systems. I am very delighted with the recent appointment of the National Convenor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who will lead the process of developing the national pathways for food systems transformation in the country in collaboration with the entire UN Country Team and FAO, in particular. 2023 will be marked by the first organized Food Systems Stock-Taking Moment, where Bosnia and Herzegovina is invited to participate and contribute. This Stock-Taking Moment would offer the momentum for launching the catalytic action within the trajectory of the much-needed sustainable food systems transformation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and FAO is fully committed to being at the forefront of this positive change." 

Nabil Gangi, De facto Head of FAO in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Deputy Regional Representative



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