Bosnia and Herzegovina + 6 more

Bosnia and Herzegovina Crisis Response Plan 2020

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IOM Vision

In the context of the increased number of irregular migrants transiting through the country since the end of 2017, and of persons seeking asylum, IOM seeks to support the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to effectively manage a functioning reception system that is in line with international standards and that provides living conditions at an acceptable standard, where the dignity of those accommodated is maintained and their basic needs met.

Context Analysis

In 2019, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) authorities registered 29,196 migrant arrivals. The composition of the migration flows is mixed, with top declared countries of origin being Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria. While the vast majority are single men, they are also compromised of families with children, elderly, unaccompanied migrant children, and other vulnerable migrants.

While the number may seem modest in comparison to the overall flows along the Western Balkan route, especially from 2015 and 2016, IOM estimates that there are around 7,500-8,000 migrants in the country at any given time, mainly concentrated in Una-Sana Canton – in close proximity to the border with EU Member State Croatia – with lesser numbers in transit in Sarajevo and Tuzla Cantons.

Thus far, the BiH authorities have struggled to adequately respond to the basic needs and human rights of migrants in the country. The situation, requiring a multi-level and multi-sectoral approach, has rather exposed the country’s complex governance system and weak institutions.

In response, IOM has scaled up its operations across the country and has opened five new temporary reception centres, providing safe, secure and dignified accommodation, food and other necessities, and where migrants can have access to a range of health and protection services.

However, with the current accommodation capacity at around 4,000, but with around 7,500 migrants and asylum seekers in the country, there is an urgent need to enhance accommodation and reception capacities.