On Thursday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in BiH handed over a new vehicle worth 36,400 BAM to the Red Cross of Čitluk Municipality, which will be used for the distribution and delivery of humanitarian goods, medicines, as well as for transporting refugees and domestic patients to the nearest health center or the University Clinical Hospital (SKB) in Mostar.
The UNHCR representative in BiH Lucie Gagne pointed out that the citizens of Čitluk and Međugorje are one of the brightest examples of how communities should respond when it comes to accepting refugees.
“Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 7.8 million people have been forcibly displaced, approximately five million refugees have managed to obtain temporary protection status in the countries of the European Union and the region, and around 5.9 million people are still internally displaced in Ukraine.
According to the data we receive from the BiH authorities, as of March 1, 2022, over 50,000 Ukrainians have come to this country, and there are currently 134 Ukrainian refugees in the country.
Unfortunately, the BiH authorities failed to provide a legal framework that would protect their status, and with the new government, we will reopen discussions and try to find temporary protection status for these people. I thank the citizens of Čitluk and Međugorje, and all the international and national organizations that provided a timely response and help to Ukrainian refugees,” said Gagne.
She added that by donating the vehicle, UNHCR wants to support the capacities of the Čitluk Red Cross for better implementation of field activities for the local population, but also for the population of Ukrainians living in this municipality.
Secretary General of the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina Rajko Lazić said that this was a good day for the municipal Red Cross.
Also, on this occasion, with the support of UNHCR’s partner, the BH Women’s Initiative Foundation (BHWI), clothing and footwear packages were distributed to refugees from Ukraine.