The International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC) has warned that the humanitarian assistance is urgently needed for thousands of migrants will stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina during cold winter days.
Namely, more than 23,000 migrants have entered the country since the beginning of the year with the intent to continue their journey towards the EU countries, and it is assumed that currently there are at least 5,300 migrants on the territory of BiH, residing mostly near the border with Croatia.
IFRC emphasized that migrants are living in tents, abandoned facilities and improvised camps, and warned that these accommodations do not offer protection from the cold.
“Despite the best intention of humanitarian agencies to provide food and shelter for migrants, still there is a risk of hypothermia and it is increasing as colder days are approaching. Without humanitarian aid, it’s hard to imagine how many of them will survive until spring,” was stated by IFRC Regional Director for Europe Simon Misiri.
It is stated that the Red Cross of BiH daily supplies food for 3,000 people in the six reception centers, but that it also has limited capacities.
Volunteers also deliver a certain amount of clothing to migrants who mostly arrived without winter clothes.
“The IFRC and the Red Cross of BH require 3,3 million Swiss francs to provide food for nine months for 1,000 people, hygiene supplies and other necessities like blankets and sleeping bags for the next 12 months,” was stated in the statement.
Red Cross mobile teams will begin patrolling the area to provide food, blankets, hot drinks and first aid to migrants in need. They will also distribute information about active landmine fields in the area, the IFRC said.