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IOM donates Mobile Device intended for COVID-19 Testing to Hospital in BiH

The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kupres Health Center (HC), and the Kupres Municipality was held at the Kupres Health Center.

The memorandum was signed by Ms. Laura Lungarotti, Chief of the IOM Mission in BiH and Subregional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Mayor of Kupres, Mr. Zdravko Mioč, and Mr. Ivica Čičak, director of the Kupres Health Center.

The cooperation between IOM and HC Kupres started after IOM responded to the public appeal for support of HC Kupres due to the difficult situation with the appearance of coronavirus.

To support the population of this local community, IOM donated an ICHROMA II mobile device intended for COVID-19 testing and other blood tests.

Until now, the residents of Kupres had to travel to Livno or Tomislavgrad to perform these tests. The donation of the ICHROMA II device to the Kupres Health Center was made possible through the project “Addressing COVID-19 challenges within the Migrant and Refugee Response in the Western Balkans, funded through the EU Foreign Policy Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace.

This tailored approach implemented by IOM in BiH is the result of close cooperation of IOM with local institutions on capacitating the communities to address the needs of the people especially the vulnerable categories.

This is one of the many activities that IOM carries out in BiH using this tailored and collaborative approach within EU-funded projects. In addition to the above, in support of the authorities in preventing the spread of COVID-19, during this year IOM supported various communities and institutions by donating different medical supplies and specialized medical equipment, a significant number of medical containers as well as personal protective equipment.

IOM in BiH is continuously working to strengthen the capacity of civil servants and institutions to improve and develop strategies and guidelines for responding not only to migrants but also to the most vulnerable categories in society.

Furthermore, for the last two decades, IOM in BiH has been monitoring social developments both locally and globally and accordingly preparing analyzes and recommendations for improving the life of each individual. One of IOM’s more significant strategic goals is focused on the area of social inclusion. A special focus is on supporting young people and working together in many local communities to find solutions to their needs.

IOM also provides very significant support to government institutions in response to the migration situation, especially in Una-Sana and Sarajevo Canton, given that these two cantons have the largest influx of migrants. Through social cohesion projects and in cooperation with local communities, priority is given to issues that will improve the living conditions of citizens in these communities. The following are some of the priority projects implemented in the Bihać area: installation of LED lighting in 10 local communities, revitalization of the City Park, restoration of cultural heritage, construction works at the FC Jedinstvo stadium.

In addition to the above, the procurement of specialized vehicles with accompanying equipment for garbage collection in Bihać and Cazin was carried out. In order to strengthen the infrastructure for waste management, necessary garbage containers were procured, which were placed, among other things, near temporary reception centers and along the roads most often used by the migrants. As part of the support of the European Union, the need for a specialized vehicle with a water tank have been identified, and accordingly, a dedicated vehicle has been procured to provide fresh water and enable access to freshwater for citizens of Bihać at any time.

At the initiative of the Hadžići municipality, works on the access road and LED lighting towards the temporary reception center Ušivak were completed. IOM supported NGOs in Bihać, Cazin, Tuzla, Hadžići and Sarajevo by awarding 7 grants for social inclusion project activities in order to connect and culturally exchange experiences and knowledge between migrants and residents from these local communities. Following the example with the Kupres Health Center, IOM will continue to monitor and analyze the needs of BiH government institutions and in all local communities in BiH and to support them in order to contribute to strengthening, progress and stabilization through joint efforts, stated the IOM in the press release. 

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