UK provides £300,000 to the UNHCR Regional Office in Sarajevo

unhcrUK Government pledges £3 million to provide aid to migrants and refugees and support to governments in managing reception and registration in the Western Balkans, of which over £300,000 is provided to the UNHCR Regional Office in Sarajevo.

The UK is providing £300,000 to help Bosnia and Herzegovina respond to the refugee emergency, together with other countries in the region that may be affected.  The money is part of £3 million of aid to the Western Balkans to provide help for migrants and refugees and support governments in managing registration in the Western Balkans.  The money will be provided through the UNHCR Regional Office in Sarajevo for food, non-food items, shelter, support in registration, and community sensitisation.

The Western Balkans’ allocation is part of £115 million additional emergency funding announced by the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, in response to the migration crisis. The new funding from the UK includes £100 million for lifesaving aid in Syria and the region, and £14.5 million to provide assistance and protection in the countries which refugees and migrants are leaving and those they transit, including help for those already in Europe.

Matthew Lawson, Charge d’Affaires of the British Embassy Sarajevo said, “We recognise the impact of the recent huge influx of migrants across the region and we are glad that we can work in partnership with the UNHCR to help Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide assistance to the most vulnerable.”

“The countries of the Western Balkans are responding to huge challenges, with some  300,000 refugees and migrants transiting the region in 2015” said Andrew Mayne, UNHCR Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe, “and after initial difficulties they have been managing the crisis in an orderly and humane manner despite their very limited resources. This generous contribution of the UK to the UNHCR emergency appeal will help Bosnia and Herzegovina and its neighbours to be ready to identify and assist the families and individuals that are most in need of protection.”

The humanitarian crisis has reached catastrophic proportions. The UN estimates that the unprecedented mass displacement has left12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5.6 million children inside Syria. There are now over four million refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries, of whom approximately half are children.

The UK has been at the forefront of the response to the crisis in Syria and the region. The UK has pledged a total of over £1 billion and is the second largest bilateral donor of aid in response to the Syrian conflict, including by providing more than 18m food rations, giving 1.6m people access to clean water and providing education to a quarter of a million children.


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