Active Grants: 3

GDP (current US$): 41.43 billion (2017)

Population: 7.02 million (2017)

Major Partners

World Bank; Government of Serbia; European Union (EU); United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) 


INFORM Risk Rating: 3.4

Risk data from INFORM, a global open-source risk assessment for humanitarian crises and disasters, uses a scale from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of risk.

Primary Hazards

For additional information on the natural hazard risk profile, visit ThinkHazard.


Natural Hazard Risk

Serbia is vulnerable to a variety of natural hazards that include floods, landslides, droughts, and earthquakes. The most frequent hazard is excessive rainfall, which can lead to flooding and landslides. Thirty percent of the country’s agricultural land and over 3,000 kilometers of its roads are at risk from this hazard. In late May 2014, Serbia was affected by the most severe flooding and landslides in 120 years. According to a GFDRR-supported post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), the disaster affected over 1.6 million people and caused over $1.7 billion in damage, loss, and recovery needs.

Earthquakes also pose significant risk. Over 50 percent of the country is vulnerable to earthquakes of magnitude 7.

Government Priorities

The Government of Serbia has made progress in advancing disaster risk management (DRM). Building on the results of the 2014 PDNA, the government developed a national framework to institutionalize DRM that focuses on disaster risk identification, risk monitoring, and early warning systems. Additionally, the government adopted a National DRM Program (NDRMP) that enhances Serbia’s existing strategies for managing disaster risk. 

To further advance the DRM agenda, the government’s priorities include:

  • Investing heavily in stronger early warning services and developing comprehensive flood risk maps for better flood monitoring systems;
  • Making the economy more resilient to climate change, with a particular focus on the agriculture sector; and,
  • Strengthening fiscal resilience by promoting risk insurance against damage caused by natural disasters
GFDRR progress to date

GFDRR has significantly enhanced its support for DRM in Serbia since the 2014 floods, with an emphasis on post-disaster response, institutional capacity building, and risk identification.

Immediately after the flooding, GFDRR supported a government-led PDNA in partnership with the EU, UNDP, and World Bank. The findings of this assessment have informed additional activities in the country, including the NDRMP. A trust fund, managed and co-implemented by GFDRR, was set up to support the implementation of the NDRMP and further enhance DRM and flood prevention systems. Financed by the EU, Switzerland, the World Bank, and GFDRR, activities primarily aim to reduce existing flood risk and avoid the creation of future risk.  

To support the implementation of the NDRMP, GFDRR-financed technical assistance in 2015 helped the government in establish a fiscal risk management unit within the Ministry of Finance and develop a disaster risk financing strategy. GFDRR’s initial support for the NDRMP has been critical in mobilizing more than $70 million for DRM capacity building. GFDRR also supports initiatives that help Serbia better prepare for future natural hazards by gathering open data for risk identification and enhancing end-to-end early warning systems.

GFDRR anticipates continued demand from the Government of Serbia in the following areas:

  • Ongoing initiatives for open data and end-to-end early warning systems and pilots at the municipal level;
  • Shifting focus over time from flood prevention and recovery to multi-hazard risk management at both the local and national levels;
  • Expanding DRM approaches to selected sectors such as education, transportation, or health for improved resilience;
  • Strengthening financial protection mechanisms to protect against the fiscal shocks of natural hazards;
  • Mitigating the impact of climate change and making the economy more disaster and climate resilient; and,
  • Managing and implementing the National DRM program.

Grants Awarded by GFDRR 2007 - Present

Scaling up resilient infrastructure through Serbia National Disaster Risk Management Program
$120,000 02/2018 - 12/2019
Resilient Transport Partnership Program Knoweldge Management
$350,000 12/2017 - 08/2019
Developing the South East European Multi-Hazard Early Warning Advisory System - Phase II
$1,500,000 11/2017 - 12/2020
Strengthening the Integration of Disaster Risk Management and Climate Resilience in Trade, Competitivity, and Roads in the Western Balkans Region
$1,000,000 09/2017 - 05/2019
Serbia: Strengthening the Social Protection System for Disaster Preparedness and Response
$420,000 08/2017 - 05/2019
Open Data for Resilience Initiative: Tools and Capacity Building
$250,000 06/2017 - 12/2018
Support to Serbia National Disaster Risk Management Program under IPA II 2014-2020 (Recipient-Executed Trust Fund)
$4,094,885 04/2017 - 12/2019
End to End Early Warning System under Serbia National DRM Program (Recipient Executed Trust Fund)
$1,020,000 04/2017 - 10/2019
Serbia National Disaster Risk Management Program: Resilient Recovery Component
$82,991 10/2016 - 10/2017
Resilient Transport Infrastructure Program
$1,000,000 09/2016 - 03/2019
Risk Management and Business Continuity for Water Utilities in the Danube Region
$250,000 07/2016 - 12/2018
$1,719,645 03/2016 - 08/2020
Support for End to End Early Warning System under Serbia National DRM Program (Bank-Executed Trust Fund)
$500,000 02/2016 - 10/2019
Strengthening of Early Warning Systems under Serbia National DRM Program III
$720,000 02/2016 - 02/2018
DRF Rollout and Piloting
$520,000 10/2015 - 12/2018
Strengthening of Early Warning Systems under Serbia's National DRM Program II
$380,000 08/2015 - 07/2016
Resilient Infrastructure: Roads, landslides and DRM
$700,000 06/2015 - 06/2020
Supporting Institution Building under the National Disaster Risk Management Program
$500,000 01/2015 - 12/2016
Open Data for Resilience Initiative Technology and Capacity Building
$783,991 11/2014 - 09/2017

World Bank Engagements 2012 – Present

Project Description
Floods Emergency Recovery Project
$300 million | Start date: 10/2014 (Ongoing)

The project development objectives are to: (i) help restore power system capability to reliably meet domestic demand; (ii) protect the livelihoods of farmers in flood affected areas; (iii) protect people and assets from floods; and (iv) improve the capacity of borrows to respond effectively to disasters.

Disaster Risk Management DPL-CAT DDO
$70 million | Start date: 05/2017 (Ongoing)

The development objective of Disaster Risk Management Development Policy Loan with a Catastrophe-Deferred Drawdown Option (CAT DDO) Project is to strengthen Serbia’s institutional and legal framework to effectively manage the physical and fiscal impact of natural hazards.

Serbia Second Public Expenditure and Public Utilities DPL
$200 million | Start date: 03/2018 (Ongoing)

The Public Expenditure and Public Utilities Development Policy Loan (PEPU DPL) series supports the Serbia government’s multi-year fiscal consolidation agenda under the following three development objectives: Pillar A: Improve public expenditure management through strengthened public financial management and public administration reform; Pillar B: Improve the financial sustainability and efficiency of energy sector public enterprises; and Pillar C: Improve the financial sustainability and efficiency of transport sector public enterprises and state-owned companies.

Additional Financing for Second Serbia Health Project
$31.1 million | Start date: 03/2018 (Ongoing)

The development objective of the Second Health Project for Serbia is to contribute to improving the efficiency and quality of the public health system of the Republic of Serbia through the strengthening of: (i) health financing, purchasing, and maintenance systems; and (ii) quality improvement systems and management of selected priority non‐communicable diseases.