The COVID-19 pandemic is directly affecting all people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in different ways. Although the government is putting all available resources towards setting up a response for the entire nation, Roma minority was a very first cluster to feel affects of COVID-19, mainly due to their vulnerability which includes income loss, poor housing living condition, lack of access to social and health services and lack of general living essentials.
ROMACTED Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina was called upon by Roma community members as well as national and local authorities, to provide assistance and support during the pandemic. In the first three weeks, ROMACTED Programme, together with its support organisation ‘Romalen Kakanj’, assisted with essential food and hygiene vouchers 315 most vulnerable families. Roma families in the municipality of Visoko, Prnjavor, Tuzla, Vukosavlje, Kakanj and Bijeljina were provided with essential relief during COVID-19 pandemic as well as with important information regarding the protection measures imposed by the government.
The entire process was organised and executed in collaboration with relevant local, national and international stakeholders and coordinated by ROMACTED Community Action Group members who distributed vouchers and supported families in collection of goods.
Furthermore, ROMACTED Programme supported cleaning of one of the largest BiH Roma settlements Varda in Kakanj municipality. ROMACTED facilitator together with Community Action Group members mobilised the residents with an aim to clean up and promote safe environment during COVID-19 pandemic.
In the upcoming period, ROMACTED Programme will continue to advocate and provide guidance and support to Roma communities, through synergies and communications established with all relevant actors and stakeholders, both at local and national level together with international community.