Bosnia and Herzegovina

Winter appeal launched for Bosnian returnees

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From Federation News 1/03
Launching an appeal for 958,000 Swiss francs (US$672,324), the Federation warned that a lack of humanitarian assistance for people returning home to Bosnia and Herzegovina was threatening to undermine the sustainability of the return process. Even though the conflict ended seven years ago, a battered economy and rampant unemployment mean life is hard for returnees. The appeal seeks to provide food, firewood and other assistance to 30,000 returnees during the harsh winter months. Some 908,000 refugees and displaced persons - or 40 per cent of those forced out during the conflict - have returned to their homes since the Dayton Agreement, and Bosnian Red Cross volunteers working at grassroots level play a major role in helping them resettle. "There is a serious humanitarian gap and many returnees are asking themselves if remaining at home is an option," says the Federation representative in Sarajevo, Frans Lommers.