The European Union announced on Tuesday that it has secured EUR 14.8 million to address the needs of migrants and refugees currently residing in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This includes EUR 13 million-worth of support to migration management - for which an implementation agreement was signed on June 21 with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - and EUR 1.8 million for humanitarian aid.

Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina “need to ensure effective coordination, at all levels, of border management and migration management capacity, as well as the functioning of the asylum system”.

This is necessary for the country to take full advantage of the EU substantial assistance - in the interest of refugees and migrants and of the local communities”, said Hahn.

Migrants Balkan1

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides underlined that the EU was committed to help those most in need and cover the basic needs of refugees and migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, thus complementing national efforts.

It is important that the well-being of the refugees and migrants is at the heart of decisions for the location and quality of accommodation centers”, said Stylianides.

Since 2007, the European Union has allocated to Bosnia and Herzegovina a total of EUR 44.8 million - including EUR 24 million since the beginning of 2018 - in the area of migration and border management through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

Migrants Sarajevo1

Building on the results of the previous assistance, the most recent funding will ensure accommodation for around 5,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. It will provide access to health and protection assistance and outreach to people living outside of the reception facilities.

Statement issued on the official web-site of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina reads that the EU funding will also strengthen the capacity of country’s authorities in border management, as well as for identification, registration and referral to services for refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. It will also support assisted voluntary returns, the statement concludes.

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