U.S. Department of State – Foreign Assistance to BiH

The Department of State recently published the Foreign Operations Appropriated Assistance toState Budget BiH stating that the U.S. Government (USG) interest in BiH remains engaged and would like to see a stable, democratic, multiethnic BiH on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration. In order to ensure the stability of the region, it is vital for BiH to establish collaborative relationships with its neighbors, effectively combat crime, strengthen democratic institutions, construct a society based on mutual tolerance and understanding, and attain economic growth. The areas of focus that were specified were peace and security, governing justly and democratically and economic growth. Under peace and security, it was highlighted that an increase in Bosnian law enforcement agencies' capacity to combat terrorism and organized crime was vital as well as bringing the Bosnian military into full compliance with NATO standards, strengthen security institutions, particularly those at the state level which combat terrorism and organized crime and contributing to regional security as well as further strengthening Bosnia and Herzegovina's control of its borders. Other important improvements that need to be made include increasing the efficiency and professionalism of the Bosnian justice system and enhancing its capacity to handle cases involving terrorism and war crimes, developing the institutional capacity of the Bosnian State Parliament by supporting work on legislative drafting and procedural reforms, expanding local NGOs' capacity to provide research to legislative bodies and impact policy decisions and improving the capacity of local and municipal governments to deliver services effectively to citizens. On a positive note, U.S. experts trained and mentored BiH law enforcement and judicial institutions to combat Trafficking in Persons. USG assistance also resulted in the opening of a legal aid center for women and created trafficking prevention education in schools and support for the 2010 general elections. The USG was able to increased participation of urban youth by 200,000 voters, develop online tools to reach citizens, and allow the preliminary election results to be announced on election night. To read more about the assistance goals, areas of focus and recent successes regarding BiH please click on: http://goo.gl/SF7SF