The 1992-1995 war transformed Bosnia and Herzegovina from a medium-income country within the former Yugoslavia, to a poor country. It caused the loss of 100,000 - 250,000 lives and displaced nearly half the country’s pre-war population of 4.4 million. War damage is estimated at more than US$100 billion. Despite the success of post-conflict rebuilding, the economy has not returned to its pre-war level, so the country is now one of the poorest in Europe. Acute widespread poverty and high unemployment are a relatively recent phenomenon. At present about 19.5 per cent of the population is poor and suffers serious shortages in almost all aspects of welfare. A further 30 per cent of the population is vulnerable to poverty in the event of an income shock. When the war ended many families returned to the countryside and to subsistence farming to escape poverty. At present about half of the rural population relies on agriculture for a livelihood. Poverty is widespread throughout the country but is more acute in rural regions, especially in returnee areas.
One of HWA strategy goals is to contribute to the development and economy in project countries. Economic development is a basic prerequisite for the lasting reduction of poverty and therefore an essential foundation for sustainable development. HWA wants to help strengthen economic development and develop modern economic structures in its partner countries. It is important to us to incorporate Austrian, European and local companies into our projects and to support the business initiatives of companies committed to social and ecological values through confidence-building measures. Furthermore, we support companies in the implementation of CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives and welcome the voluntary assumption of social responsibility by companies as a step toward establishing the necessary basic conditions throughout the world.
Hilfswerk Austria International provides worldwide disaster relief in the aftermath of wars and natural disasters as well as competent project management in long-term development projects and programmes. At the centre of focus are human beings, their health, an improvement in their life chances and the support of the family – particularly of children. Besides providing material aid we equally promote the sustainable strengthening of self-help in the countries we work. Our work follows Austrian and international development goals. We ensure an adequate and efficient use of donation funds, committing ourselves to strictly independent financial auditing.
HWA activities focus on:
Education and training: Accompaniment of local project partners; Knowledge management; Organisational development and consulting
Economic development and agriculture: Income generation; Organic agriculture and rural development; Development of economic structures;
Health and social welfare: Health care and food security; Integration of marginal groups; Water and sanitation
HWA has an excellent knowledge on BiH market, policies, people and companies. It has an excellent management expert team and great experience in support to agriculture producers and other players in economical sector. It has well established mechanisms of financial management and monitoring. Provides direct access to civil society and has expertise in projects implementation. Due to our non-profit longstanding experience, we offer high credibility and reliance as well as high competence of projects. We offer win-win approach to all participants. Potential investor will benefit from stable general conditions which we create in the country(ies) using our experience and know-how. Local communities and people will benefit from new companies offering employment and income.
We have supported more than 12.000 persons in BiH with income generation inputs, delivered more than 3.500 grants in agriculture (livestock, agriculture machines, tools etc.), created at least 80 new working places, provided more than 10.000 grants in seeds and seedlings etc.