EU support to migrants and refugees in Una-Sana Canton

In the past months, the European Union has allocated more than €9.2 million through various projects to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s efforts in helping migrants and refugees and improving the country’s border management capacities.

The funds have been allocated for several activities such as relocation of migrants and refugees from exposure to inhumane conditions at the camp Trnovi in Velika Kladuša to the nearby camp Miral, which currently hosts around 600 migrants.

The former student dormitory Borići that had housed migrants over the summer is now completely empty, and the reconstruction and renovation works of the premises are ongoing. The migrants and refugees that have been accommodated in the TRC Borići have been relocated to the nearby temporary reception centre (TRC) Bira. There are currently around 2,000 migrants at Bira, and the EU support has primarily been focused on the basic needs such as beds and blankets, all with the aim to ensure better and humane conditions. The construction works in the TRC Borići will be completed by the end of this year.

Works to establish a safer and more adequate accommodation for the families with children and unaccompanied minors are complete. The TRC Sedra has the capacity to host 420 persons, with local and English language lessons being provided for every child. Such activities will continue in the future with the goal to make migrant children’s lives richer and, through education and fun, introduce them to the culture of the host community and facilitate their communication with peers.

Shelter and basic healthcare service have been secured for all migrants on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At all TRCs in Una-Sana Canton, three meals a day are provided to all camp residents. These activities have been financed through EU funds, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Red Cross of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina on site.

From late 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina started seeing an increasing number of migrants and refugees entering its territory. In 2018, over 23,500 migrants and refugees arrived through neighbouring Serbia or Montenegro, compared to a mere 755 in the whole of 2017. Currently, up to 4,000 migrants and refugees are residing in temporary reception centres (TRC) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While the majority of migrants and refugees are male, amongst them are also women, families with children, pregnant women and unaccompanied or separated children.