We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in securing Instrument of Pre-Accession funding for deinstitutionalisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina – one of the core objectives of the Opening Doors for Europe’s Children campaign in the country.
Last week the Council of Ministers in Bosnia and Herzegovina approved nine priorities and action plans for European Union (EU) funding in the country which have been negotiated between the European Commission and the Government for several months.
As a direct result of our efforts and those of our partners, this now includes a specific priority and action plan on deinstitutionalisation and a commitment to invest €1 500 000 to be spent on DI in the country over the next three years.
The package on offer is a reduced IPA II programme consisting of €40 million of funding that the country can access in 2014 as a result of the stalled negotiations between the Government and the European Commission over the preconditions for unlocking full IPA II funding. To be able to retrieve these funds, Directorate for European Integration had to submit action plans from ten approved priority areas for 2014. Similar programming exercises will then be repeated on a year by year basis until the situation is resolved.
This is in spite of the fact that DI was not included from the Country Strategy Paper released in April, after which we redoubled our efforts in the country and in Brussels to secure this success.
This is a hugely significant moment as, not only will it provide crucial funding to support the transition to family and community based care, it positions DI as a key national priority for the Government and for the Commission as Bosnia and Herzegovina moves closer towards becoming an EU member state in the future.
As National Coordinator for the campaign in the country, Hope and Homes for Children BiH has recruited a network of national partners including Save the Children BiH, SOS Children’s Villages BiH, SUMERO alliance, UNICEF BiH and World Vision and worked in partnership with campaign colleagues in Eurochild and Hope and Homes for Children to secure this success.