Many are not aware of the situation of refugees in Bosnia & Herzegovina as this is mostly underreported here in the UK.
Bosnia & Herzegovina has been part of the Balkan Migration Route since 2018, when the borders of Hungary have been closed down. Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and Macedonia became part of the route of the people who are going to Turkey and then Greece and then up north, depending on which country they have chosen.
In the last 3 years, more people have been arriving in Sarajevo, and as the weather becomes better, there will be more and more people going this way, as was witnessed in the past years.
Bosnia is surrounded by three countries on its borders, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro. Most of the refugees are transiting through Bosnia, trying to cross Croatia or Slovenia and go to either Austria or Italy, these so called “safe” countries.
But it’s not all straightforward. Refugees who are caught in Croatia or Slovenia are sent back to Bosnia & Herzegovina, making it a residence country for those who have been trying for a number of years to cross the border.
The Lipa Emergency Tent Camp, located in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, housed 1,400 migrants from several countries. It was closed and destroyed by a fire on the 23rd of December.
With nowhere to go, the refugees were exposed to the harsh winter. Stranded at the former Lipa camp, with no heating and inadequate clothing, these refugees were at risk of frostbite, hypothermia and other severe health problems, according to a UN report.
Our mission is to help bring hope and tangible help to the poor and suffering.
GAiN UK, together with RefugEase, has sent an emergency lorry filled with winter clothing and blankets on the 11th of February but we would like to continue helping these migrants by collecting and sending more in the future.
Will you partner with us and help these people get adequate clothing and supplies as they seek refuge?
Photo credit: Elisa Oddone