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Addressing Needs of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina – BIH968

The situation with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Bosnia and Herzegovina is steadily deteriorating.  At any point in time, there are between 8,000 – 10,000 refugees in the country with the largest estimated number in Una Sana Canton. Most refugees attempt to cross the border with Croatia and get stranded in Una Sana Canton. However, other regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina such as Zenica, Tuzla and Sarajevo are equally hit by crisis. The lack of support and adequate measures from the central and lower level governments combined with increasing xenophobia complicate the situation further leaving migrants in very vulnerable positions with inadequate living and hygienic conditions and means of support. Most migrants squat and live in abandoned housing. They either beg or sell small items on the street to obtain means for living. For those who claim asylum there are no measures designed to help them learn the language and integrate in the society.

Project Objective

To contribute to increased integration of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, provide protection and aid to migrants and contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Main Activities
  • Distribution of vouchers – based on successful distribution of vouchers for marginalized communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, CARE will distribute vouchers for food and other items to migrants. Distribution of vouchers will retain the dignity of targeted population and will allow them to select products in accordance with their needs. In order to complete this activity, CARE will develop a system of distribution together with its partners to work with suppliers and address any prejudice from their side.
  • Winterization and prevention from COVID-19 – CARE already prepared a standard package of non-food items (NFI) of support to migrants which includes a set of blankets/sleeping bags, thermal foil and underwear and socks and boots. This set would additionally include disinfection liquid and hygienic items for personal care.
  • Medical assistance – CARE and partners will provide access to medical services to those in need. The service will be provided by the local clinics, while CARE and partners’ staff will facilitate and support the process and thus assist individuals suffering from diseases or injuries. This is a particularly important component considering the situation with the pandemic and the fact that access to medical services is this limited.
  • Protection – CARE and partners will offer psycho-social support to migrants. In order to address protection risks that male unaccompanied and separated minors and young men are facing in official and unofficial shelters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, CARE intends to implement an adapted version of their “Engaging young men and boys in emergencies” program initially implemented in refugee camps in Serbia. This program focuses on violence prevention, healthy lifestyles and gender equality initiatives.
  • Supporting integration efforts – for those migrants who have claimed asylum and wish to stay, CARE and partner organizations will support them to learn the language and will identify vocational training and job opportunities for these individuals.



Una Sana Canton, Zenica-Doboj and Tuzla Canton

Total Budget

€ 200,000 (CARE Austria’s own funds) 


01.02.2021 – 31.12.2022


CARE Österreich

This project contributes to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs):