The European Union announced today €14.8 million to address the needs of migrants and refugees who remain present in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This includes €13 million of support to migration management – for which an implementation agreement was signed on 21 June with the International Organisation for Migration – and €1.8 million for humanitarian aid.
This brings EU overall assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina to cope with the increased migratory flow since 2018 to €24 million (€20.2 million from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance and €3.8 million of humanitarian aid). This is in addition to €24.6 million assistance the European Union has provided to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of asylum, migration and border management since 2007.
Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: ‘As stated in the recent Commission Opinion, Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities need to ensure effective coordination, at all levels, of border management and migration management capacity, as well as the functioning of the asylum system. This is necessary for the country to take full advantage of the EU substantial assistance – in the interest of refugees and migrants and of the local communities.’
Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, said: ‘The EU is committed to help those most in need and cover the basic needs of refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, complementing national efforts. It is important that the well-being of the refugees and migrants is at the heart of decisions for the location and quality of accommodation centres.’
Building on the results of the previous assistance, this funding will ensure accommodation for around 5,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It will provide access to health and protection assistance and outreach to people living outside of the reception facilities. Also, some items such as jackets, shoes and sleeping bags will be made available for people in need. The unhindered access of humanitarian partners to those in need is crucial in addressing these humanitarian needs.
The EU funding will also strengthen the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities in border management, as well as for identification, registration and referral to services for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. It will also support assisted voluntary returns, EU Delegation stated.