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Bosnia: Bank Approves Reconstruction Loans

Washington, 1 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The International Development Association (IDA) has approved two emergency loans for Bosnia Herzegovina totaling $50 million. The loans are to be used to rebuild roads and bridges and reconstruct schools in the federation and in Republika Srpska.

The IDA credits, part of a World Bank plan to lend up to $300 million to Bosnia over the next three years, were approved by the bank's board of executive directors yesterday. IDA is the bank's affilate for the poorest nations.

The bank's directors reviewed the year-and-a-half old Bosnian reconstruction effort and called it a success, with the new Central Bank now open and economic growth reaching 50 percent in 1996.

As a result, the World Bank's program will now gradually move from reconstruction to creating the conditions for sustainable economi growth.

The latest loans will cover rebuilding 18 war damaged schools in the federation and seven in Republika Srpska, replacing the furniture, and providing an emergency delivery of text books.

The bank's focus in transportation will be on road and bridge rebuilding, related mine clearing and the supply of maintenance equipment.