Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Scheme assists former BiH soldiers to gain new civilian jobs

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SARAJEVO, 6 March, 2003 - Nearly 6,000 former members of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) armed forces will receive assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to make a transition to civilian life and find sustainable employment upon demobilization.
They are among 12,000 soldiers who left the military following a significant downsizing of the forces during the past year.

Thousands of soldiers have applied for assistance from the IOM to facilitate their transition to the civilian workforce. The Transitional Assistance to Discharged Soldiers from the Armed Forces of BiH programme, implemented by the IOM, has so far supported 900 former soldiers who were discharged in 2002 and is in the process of delivering assistance to nearly 2,300 others.

Former soldiers are assisted by the programme to make the transition to civilian life and find sustainable employment. Encouraged by the success of their former colleagues more and more discharged soldiers are seeking to take advantage of the programme - the IOM has received over 5,700 requests for assistance, more than 700 in January 2003 alone.

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina has supported the programme by fundraising, by facilitating information exchange between the IOM and the armed forces and by assisting with the related information campaign. Both the IOM and the OSCE are grateful to USAID, Britain, Holland, Norway, Italy, Poland and Germany for their support.

For further information, please contact:

Urdur Gunnarsdottir
Spokesperson
Press and Public Information
OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Obala Kulina Bana 20
71000, Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
GMT +2
Tel.: +387-33 752 222
+387-66 144 311 (mobile)
Fax: +387-33 442 479
E-mail: urdurg@oscebih.org