Overview

In October 2018, migrants clashed with Bosnian and Croatian police as they demand to be let into the EU and refused to be forcibly returned home. By the end of September, over 16,000 migrants had entered Bosnia in 2018, compared to 359 over the same period in 2017 (numbers are likely higher as some migrants enter undetected). An estimated 5,000 migrants are sheltering in abandoned buildings and makeshift camps in the northwest region near the border with Croatia, the majority in Bihać and Velika Kladuša.?Bosnia has been slow to open reception centres and the national capacity to provide food, shelter, and other aid is strained. An assessment by the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded that relevant stakeholders are not sufficiently coordinated or prepared to respond to the current situation. Food, shelter, and healthcare as the most pressing humanitarian needs and conditions are expected to worsen in winter.?

Bosnia and Herzegovina was affected by flooding in May 2014. For more information, see our Briefing Note.

Latest Developments

01/11: Tensions are rising as migrants clash with Croatian police as they attempt to enter Croatia before the onset of winter.?

Local institutions and aid organisations have warned nearly 10,000 migrants will likely be stranded at the Croatian border with little assistance and inadequate shelter as winter begins.?

Key priorities

Food security: With an increase in the number of people in need and the duration of their stay, food supplies are low and there is a risk services will be discontinued. Access to adequate food and nutrition for babies, children, and pregnant women is already insufficient or insecure. Uncoordinated and unannounced distributions have the potential to create tensions.?

Shelter and NFIs: Additional accommodation is needed in a range of locations for vulnerable groups, particularly unaccompanied and separated children as well as children and their families. There is a lack of adequate clothing for children and women. The identification of sites and opening of additional protection sensitive accommodation facilities is a priority.?

Health: In Bihać and Velika Kladuša cases of scabies, lice and other skin and vector-borne diseases due to poor hygiene conditions are on the rise. There is a need to improve the screening and referral mechanisms for migrants pertaining to emerging health issues as no systematic approach or protocols are in place to prevent or treat infectious/serious diseases.?