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Employment Boost in Gornji Vakuf

By Capt Karine Chapleau
First published in
SFOR Informer#108, March 7, 2001

Gornji Vakuf - Twenty new employees work nowadays for Komerc 3 sawmill in Gornji Vakuf, after receiving help from the Department for International Development (DFID).
“You are the only organisation that wanted to help and I appreciate the confidence you have shown me,” said Muhamed Sljivo, principal owner of the sawmill. “I bought a new machine to steam and dry the wood enabling me to increase production. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart and from all my employees.”
DFID gave 50 000 KM for the new machine. The technical support team from Bugojno, Major Eef Rovers and Warrant Officer 1 Joop Den Doop, ensured that the project finally got underway. It was started in 1999. For the next six months, they will monitor Komerc 3 to ensure the requirements of the contract are fulfilled.
Companies who receive money from DFID must return 30% of the total amount they initially received to the community. In this case, Mr Sljivo will provide wood to returnees for the reconstruction of their houses.
The CIMIC program is in place to help people rebuild their lives and provide a safe and secure environment. In this case, providing stable employment.
The goal of DFID is to contribute to the civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement by encouraging the return of significant numbers of Displaced Persons and Refugees (DPREs) to fully integrated communities.
In 1996, Mr. Sljivo, Sahbaz Abazovic and Zekir Sljivo decided to start their own business instead of waiting for something to happen. Almost five years later, they are successful and employ 40 people.
Most of their production is exported to Austria. With the increased production, their main Austrian customer has assured them that they need all the wood the sawmill can produce.
The three partners have plans for the future. They are already thinking of expanding to meet both local and international demand.

Related links: CIMIC
Nations of SFOR: Netherland