In the first half of the year, 10,525 illegal migrants were registered entering the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), of which 9,919 declared asylum, and only 196 filed for asylum, but did not appear in the process, said Minister of security Dragan Mektic on Wednesday.
“Based on the readmission, we accepted 324 people and brought back 324 foreign nationals. During 2018, 23,000 illegal migrants were registered in BiH. If we assume that in the first six months of 2019 some 10,000 migrants have entered, and if this trend persists, it will not increase the number compared to last year, confirming that there is no enormous increase in migration inflows,” Mektic said.
He explained that these migrants come from the EU, from Bulgaria and Greece, one route through Serbia, and another through Albania and Montenegro.
Most migrants come from Pakistan (36.3%), Bangladesh (9.2%), Iraq (8.8%), Syria (8.7%) and Afghanistan (7.5%).
In the period from May 27thto June 5th 2019, 743 illegal migrants were reported to the Foreign Affairs Department. At the same time, 673 persons filed for asylum applications and 51 persons filed for asylum.
The European Union announced on Tuesday that it will allocate €14.8 million to address the needs of migrants and refugees who remain present in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This includes €13 million of support to migration management – for which an implementation agreement was signed on 21 June with the International Organisation for Migration – and €1.8 million for humanitarian aid.
Building on the results of the previous assistance, this 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. Also, some items such as jackets, shoes and sleeping bags will be made available for people in need. The unhindered access of humanitarian partners to those in need is crucial in addressing these humanitarian needs.
The EU funding will also strengthen the capacity of Bosnia and Herzegovina’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.