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World Bank Approves $50 Million for Air Quality Improvements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

World Bank Approves $50 Million for Air Quality Improvements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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To help address air pollution challenges and mitigate its health and economic consequences in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), the World Bank approved a EUR46.10 million loan (US$50 million equivalent) to Bosnia and Herzegovina for an Air Quality Improvement Project.

The negative impacts of ambient air pollution are significant and wide-ranging. Exposure to PM2.5 –fine inhalable particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller – poses serious health risks, leading to respiratory infections, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and premature deaths. The residential heating and transport sectors are major contributors, accounting for approximately 50% and 20% of PM2.5 emissions, respectively. Additionally, the institutional and policy framework for air quality management in the FBiH is currently fragmented and decentralized. To address these challenges, the project aims to support the FBiH authorities in establishing a comprehensive and sustainable air quality management system and implementing measures to reduce air pollutant emissions from the country’s residential heating and transport sectors.

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“By investing in air quality improvements and emission reduction measures, this project will contribute to the well-being of the population and to overall environmental sustainability,” said Christopher Sheldon, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. “The clean investments made in energy and transport will not only reduce air pollutant emissions but also deliver additional benefits such as greenhouse gas emission reduction, energy savings, improved living conditions and job creation.”

The project aims to strengthen the air quality management mechanisms and institutions in all participating cantons of the FBiH – Tuzla, Zenica-Doboj, Herzegovina-Neretva, and Sarajevo – coupled with direct investments in domestic heating and transport activities to help achieve a lifetime reduction of 19,000 tons of local PM2.5 emissions. This reduction will be accomplished by investing in sustainable heating and energy efficiency measures in single-family households, expanding cycling infrastructure, supporting low emission zones, and procuring cleaner public transport vehicles in the Sarajevo Canton.

The World Bank portfolio of active projects in BiH comprises 13 operations totaling around $770 million.  Areas of support include health care, road modernization, employment and social protection, energy efficiency, local infrastructure, and environment.


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