The Red Cross programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are aligned with the aims of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies` (IFRC) Strategy 2020 to save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises; enable healthy and safe living; and promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace. The capacity-building efforts of the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) are specifically linked with Enabling Action One to build strong National Societies.
The recent economic recession, coupled with the global financial crisis, has severely and disproportionately affected the country and its people. Many of the middle class workers, pensioners, older people, single parent families and Roma minorities are struggling to make ends meet. The lack of opportunities, political instability and economic depression are causing a large-scale emigration of skilled and educated individuals, primarily youth, thus amplifying population depletion and the aging process of the country’s demographics. 2014 was characterized by unprecedented floods which inundated large areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, affecting over a million people, displacing 89,981 people (ref. UN, WB, EUCP Recovery Assessment 19 June 2014) and causing 25 casualties in 46 municipalities. The severe and widespread rains triggered over 3,000 landslides. Due to the emergency’s scope, the National Society redirected all its available capacities and human resources for the response to the needs of the affected people. The stretched capacity of the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) in responding to the disaster and resuming its regular activities consequently put on hold the National Society’s other multilateral and bilateral project activities planned for 2014. Overall 4,842 volunteers, 200 staff and 154 branches were directly involved in providing support to some 57,000 beneficiaries affected by the floods.
During the reporting period, the IFRC Secretariat`s Office in BiH was supporting the RCSBiH in preparing an Emergency Appeal, a Revised Emergency Appeal, subsequent Operations Updates and helped implement the response operations strategies focusing on building the National Society’s DM capacities as well as advocating the National Society’s auxiliary role to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Government. A joint RCSBiH and IFRC Secretariat team visited the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees highlighting the results the National Society achieved in response to the floods.
One of the key lessons learnt during these challenging periods was that all international components of the Movement working in Bosnia and Herzegovina can play a positive and significant role in supporting the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) by promoting the seven Fundamental Principles and the Code of Conduct as a flag for all our activities.
The IFRC Secretariat`s Country Representation continues to maintain the dialogue and coordination among the Movement partners, supporting RCSBiH projects/programs and facilitating tailored organizational development support to the RCSBiH with an aim to strengthen its governance and management, resource mobilization and human resource capacities. The inclusion of capacity building elements such as exchanges of experiences and trainings into the IFRC Secretariat-supported projects remains a high priority and is underpinned in all areas of achievement as a means of enhancing the National Society’s service delivery in empowering the most vulnerable communities.