USAID Urges Bosnian Companies to Commit to Socially Responsible Acts and Strategies

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Drazena Peranic, Development Outreach and Communications Officer
Sarajevo, January 28, 2014 – The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is highlighting the impact and potential benefits of corporate social responsibility (CRS) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) this month under the theme “Corporate Social Responsibility Is Just Good Business.” 
In its effort to mitigate the challenges facing BiH, USAID has invited BiH companies to take responsibility for the welfare and development of their local communities, and to commit to ethical behavior in their business operations and culture. 
Earlier this month, BiH companies committed to investing resources to assist their communities joined USAID Mission Director David Barth at public forums in Mostar and Banja Luka. Other BiH companies will have an opportunity to do so at USAID’s third and final forum on this topic in Sarajevo on Thursday, January 30, from 12:00 to 14:00 at ASA Group Art Gallery, Bulevar Mese Selimovica 16. All media are invited.
This CSR forum will promote good corporate governance by highlighting the impact of corruption on business and investment, and efforts to combat it. (The first two CSR forums focused on environmental protection and corporate philanthropy.) 
So far, more than 50 socially conscious BiH companies have signed the “USAID Corporate Social Responsibility Commitment Book” to pledge specific actions that they will take to improve their communities in the coming year. All socially responsible BiH companies and media are encouraged to sign the book. 
Corporate social responsibility is a management concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations and interactions with their stakeholders. Companies have a lot of power in the community and national economy. They control assets and may have resources at their disposal for socially conscious investments and programs. Some companies may feign interest in corporate social responsibility, but many of them are devoting real time and money to initiatives that benefit employees, customers, and the community at large without any financial benefit for themselves.
To date, the U.S. Government, primarily through USAID, has provided almost $1.6 billion in assistance to support economic, democratic, and social progress in BiH.