So far in 2020, Bosnian authorities recorded 4,423 new arrivals to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Compared to the same period in 2019, this represents a 20 percent decrease. In March alone, BiH authorities recorded 1,540 arrivals which, compared to March 2019 (1,721), represents a 11 percent decrease, mostly caused by COVID-19 measures impacting movement in the region and in BiH, as well as limited identification and registration capacities on the ground.
Presence in BiH at the end of the month
At the end of March, 6,557 migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers were accommodated (6,178 persons (95%) in International Organization for Migrations managed centres, 171 persons (2%) in government-managed centres and 208 persons (3%) in private accommodation and NGO run shelters) while it is estimated that a further 2,000-3,000 people are situated in informal and inadequate squats and on-route within the country, Relief Web reports.
People outside formal accommodation need a range of humanitarian and other assistance at various locations, especially in Sarajevo and Una-Sana Canton. The latter location continues to be linked to attempts to enter Croatia and the European Union.
Operations throughout various agencies have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Agencies have modified their operations as needed, taking into consideration the essential activities which are most needed in order to support POCs, while also trying to minimize unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
Modifications to activities have included an increase in services being provided over the phone and online, minimizing the number of people participating in activities at the same time and postponing non-essential activities until further notice. POCs have been active participants in the prevention of COVID-19 in complying with new procedures and policies in order to protect themselves and the people around them.