Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Migration Response: Situation Report, 15-21 May 2021

Situation Report
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IOM Chief of Mission and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) Country representative together with their respective operations staff held an online meeting to discuss common challenges related to outreach activities and find suitable solutions. Partners agreed that greater coordination is needed to streamline activities, especially due to existing restrictions in some outreach locations in Una-Sana Canton (USC), where humanitarian partners are not allowed to provide assistance, with the exception of the Red Cross Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

In order to enhance cooperation with the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs (SFA) and contribute to greater ownership of the migration response, IOM appointed a Ministry of Security Liaison Officer for Sarajevo Canton. On 14 May, the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) staff in TRC Blažuj held a meeting with IOM Liaison Officer to discuss enhanced cooperation between IOM and the Ministry of Security.

A second joint data collection exercise was conducted in collaboration with SFA on April 30, following IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) methodology, to collect information on the number of migrants present in the country. A total of 3,314 migrants were identified in the 138 locations visited, of which 3,220 declared that they were not accommodated in any of the official temporary reception centres (TRCs) in BiH. Compared to the first round conducted in March 2021, the number of migrants observed is significantly higher. This is mostly due to the fact that the number of places visited has almost doubled, with more staff involved and greater capacities to cover new locations, thanks to the participation of the BiH Red Cross. The next joint exercise will provide an opportunity to further adjust the list of locations visited to systemize data collection activities while maintaining flexibility in the locations covered.

In parallel, IOM, its partners and the SFA - through outreach activities - are constantly working together to inform migrants living outside TRCs of the opportunities to be accommodated in one of its reception facilities, where they can access basic services such as shelter and WASH and also to be involved in various activities contributing to increased accountability. However, majority of migrants express the desire to stay outside the reception facilities with the intention of continuing their journey to cross the European Union (EU) border.