The World Bank (WB) has approved a grant of more than  US$8 million for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro to help those countries in managing the Drina River basin, the WB has reported on its website.

In its press release the WB notes that the bank's Board of Executive Directors has greenlighted grants totalling USD8.73 million for the project.

The funds are to come from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF).

The project is of a regional nature aimed at "rational and equitable management of the Drina River basin supporting the significant socio-economic development opportunities offered by its abundant natural resources, while at the same time protecting the environment," the WB says on its website.

The grant consists of $3.37 million earmarked for Bosnia and Herzegovina, $2.72 million for Montenegro and $2.63 million for Serbia.

The project will strengthen the mechanisms for cooperation among the three countries regarding this shared resource. The project will also help deal with climate change-related disasters, notably floods and droughts.

"This is a regional project that fosters cooperation among three countries on transboundary water management," said Anna Cestari, World Bank Senior Water Resources Specialist and Task Team Leader for this project.

The project is part of ongoing activities financed by the World Bank, the European Union and other international institutions and is aimed at improving integrated planning and cooperation for water in the region.

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