SARAJEVO: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced the end of its almost decade-old aid program to Bosnia, saying it had disbursed more than half a billion dollars in total.

Riyadh launched the aid program in the first year of the 1992-95 war in the Balkan country and said total payments came to $560 million (430 million euros).

The aid was used mainly to fight poverty and in health, infrastructure and culture, ambassador Eid bin Mohammed al-Thaqafi was quoted as saying by the state news agency Fena.

“The period of conflict is over. Now this is a time of reconstruction and economic partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Bosnia,” said the ambassador at a ceremony.

Many mosques destroyed during the war were rebuilt with Saudi help.

Muslims make up about 40 percent of Bosnia’s 3.8 million people, while the rest is mostly Orthodox or Catholic Christian.

The inter-ethnic conflict between Bosnia’s Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives and forced some 2.2 million people, or half its population, to flee their homes. (AFP)