Migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina will benefit from a €2.5 million fund, allocated by the European Union in a bid to support them as the cold days are here.
According to a press release issued recently, the fund will be dedicated to supporting migrants, especially for child protection and unaccompanied minors. At present, while the majority of migrants are deployed at EU-funded facilities, over 1,000 migrants are believed to be wandering without an accommodation spot, being exposed to cold temperatures, SchengenVisaInfo.comreports.
“Around 4,000 refugees and migrants stranded in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many of whom sleep outside, are in need of shelter, food, water, sanitation, healthcare, protection and clothes. To address these needs, the EU stands ready to continue providing humanitarian assistance,” the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said.
Out of 4,000 refugees residing at present in the Western Balkan country, 2,200 refugees accounting for 55 per cent of refugees, are accommodated at five reception centres in the capital, Sarajevo and Una Sana cantons.
Since 2018, more than 84,120 refugees and migrants have reached the Bosnian territory via the Western Balkans route, and since then, the government has received about €101.85 million for refugees and vulnerable migrants’ situation.
“The dignity and safety of all persons, especially the most vulnerable, need to be ensured and protected at all times. Humanitarian partners need full access to people in need, wherever they are,” Lenarčič also noted.
The Western Balkan route, which consists of Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the second most notorious route for illegal border crossing in the EU. Data provided by Frontex, the EU border agency, reveals that 48,500 people passed the border illegally through this route in 2021. Compared to 2020, the illegal passages in this region increased by 140 per cent, with the main nationalities being Algerians (63 per cent) and Moroccans (29 per cent).
In addition, the most affected route for 2021 remains the Eastern Land Border (including Belarus and Poland), which has marked a 1444 per cent increase compared to the same time in 2020. However, the highest number of illegal passages for 2021 were registered in the Central Mediterranean route, in Italy, where 55,000 detections were registered. The migrants are believed to arrive in Italy from Turkey by sea, and the main national groups reaching the EU using this route are Tunisians, Bangladeshi and Egyptians.