Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jan Grarup, 2019

Country Facts

DRC present since:

1992

Staff on location:

78

Displaced population:

9,500

Displacement Situation 

Since mid-2018, the route via Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) became one of the most travelled mixed migration routes in the Western Balkans, with more than 60,032 registered arrivals to the country detected by authorities in BiH between January 2018 and June 2020. Transit corridors from Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as through Albania and Montenegro, merge in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Strict border controls by Croatian border police severely limit the possibilities for onward movement and – as reception capacities in BiH are limited – there are critical needs for direct humanitarian assistance.

DRC Response 

The Danish Refugee Council began working in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in 1992 and closed its office in the country at the end of January 2010. BiH was one of the first international operations in DRC’s history and one that has profiled DRC as an international humanitarian responder. The Danish Refugee Council decided to re-open its office in the country in July 2018, with the aim of supporting the BiH authorities in managing increased migration flows and corresponding challenges in the country. DRC's programs in BiH aim to ensure equitable access to primary and secondary healthcare for asylum-seekers, migrants and refugees; provide essential protection for people on the move; provide essential humanitarian assistance to persons without access to formal reception facilities and essential services.

DRC’s work in BiH today focuses on the following areas of humanitarian response:  

  • Availability of primary healthcare services in all reception facilities and support for referral to secondary and tertiary health care institutions.
  • Significant scale up of the humanitarian health response - in response to the COVID-19 crisis - through development of preparedness and response planning, in coordination with the BiH health authorities and other agencies.
  • Comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support for asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants.
  • Implementation of standardized protection mechanisms for beneficiaries in reception facilities.
  • Provision of emergency life-saving assistance in informal locations, and identification of vulnerable cases for referral to reception facilities, through mobile outreach teams.
  • Border Protection Monitoring (BPM), systematically documenting pushbacks and rights violations at the Croatia-BiH border.

DRC maintains close cooperation with the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, the Service for Foreigners Affairs, resource ministries at all levels, UN agencies, local and international organizations and the Delegation of the European Union. DRC is a member of the Coordination Body/Operational Group for the migration response in BiH - which includes representation of key Ministries (Interior, Security, Health, Human Rights and Refugees), Service for Foreigners Affairs, Border Police, IOM, EU Delegation and the donor community. DRC is taking active part in humanitarian coordination mechanisms and is co-leading the National Outreach Working Group.

Contact

Claus Larsen

Regional Director

[email protected]

Nicola Bay

Country Director

[email protected]

Ilarija Bašić

Communication Officer

[email protected]

Downloads

Snapshots

Seeking safety in Bosnia

Thousands of people have made their way to Bosnia and Herzegovina in search of a life without hunger, deprivation, and danger. They come from poverty-stricken and war-torn countries such as Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many are forced to take shelter in abandoned buildings because the official reception centres are overcrowded, and many are plagued by illnesses, infections or injuries from violence. Several say they have attempted to cross the border into Croatia. Here they have been subjected to violence, robbed of their clothes and have had their belongings destroyed before being sent back across the border. The Danish Refugee Council is present in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where we distribute water, food, warm clothes, tents, and medicine. Pictured above, one of our staff members provides first aid to a man whose hand has been seriously injured.

Seeking safety in Bosnia

Thousands of people have made their way to Bosnia and Herzegovina in search of a life without hunger, deprivation, and danger. They come from poverty-stricken and war-torn countries such as Syria, Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Many are forced to take shelter in abandoned buildings because the official reception centres are overcrowded, and many are plagued by illnesses, infections or injuries from violence. Several say they have attempted to cross the border into Croatia. Here they have been subjected to violence, robbed of their clothes and have had their belongings destroyed before being sent back across the border. The Danish Refugee Council is present in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where we distribute water, food, warm clothes, tents, and medicine. Pictured above, one of our staff members provides first aid to a man whose hand has been seriously injured.

Bosnia DRC07

Offices

Main Country Office - Sarajevo

Skenderija 42, 71000 Sarajevo

+387 33875061 [email protected]

Field Office - Bihać

Trg maršala Tita bb., 77000 Bihać

[email protected]

Donors