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Bosnia: World Bank Says Republica Srbska Should Receive Rebuilding Funds

Washington, 6 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - The World Bank official who is coordinating the internationally-financed reconstruction effort in Bosnia says there is general agreement among donors that Republica Srbska should be included in the amount of money spent in Bosnia on rebuilding.

Of the $1.2 billion committed to the program in 1996, Republica Srbska got less than two percent of the total -- far below the 36 percent it was supposed to receive -- mostly because of what was seen as its reluctant approach to the Dayton peace accords.

Bank coordinator Christine Wallich says there is also general agreement among donors that any money spent be conditioned on Republica Srbska's compliance with the Dayton Peace Accords. The money "cannot be taken for granted," she says.

Wallich spoke to reporters in Washington Friday as the bank released a report on the first year of the four-year, $5.1 billion global program to rebuild Bosnia. The report was prepared for a meeting of the nearly 60 donor nations and organizations in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

The report says the bank plans to ask the donors to pledge a new $1.4 billion for 1997 at a pledging conference to be held in early March.

The donors pledged $1.8 billion for 1996, most of which has been formally committed to the effort. About $800 million has actually been spent so far, mostly in emergency reconstruction of infrastructure and landmine removal.

Wallich says the 1997 program will be shifted to sustainable reconstruction -- fixing things that will grow the economy -- as well as a more balanced country-wide effort.