A migrant trying to warm himself at the Lipa camp in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/FEHIM DEMIR
A migrant trying to warm himself at the Lipa camp in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/FEHIM DEMIR

Italian Catholic charity Caritas is promoting an initiative to raise money for migrants who are stranded in the Lipa camp, in northwestern Bosnia, as the humanitarian situation is worsening along the Balkan route.

The Catholic charity Caritas in the Sardinian city of Cagliari, upon the indication of Archbishop Giuseppe Baturi, is promoting a fundraising initiative to support the work carried out by Caritas Italiana in favor of migrants who are stranded in and around the former camp of Lipa in northwestern Bosnia.

Some 900 people have been living in dire conditions and without adequate shelter in the harsh winter climate after a fire destroyed the temporary camp on December 23.

Appeal from Bosnia

The local diocese in Bosnia -- through the bishop of Banja Luka -- called for help last week, urging political leaders to "work together, with material help from the international community, to resolve this humanitarian catastrophe in a positive, effective way, as soon as possible."

Caritas Italiana is currently distributing food, winter clothes -- jackets, scarves, hats and shoes -- and wood to burn to help migrants stay warm.

Caritas director calls for action

Father Marco Lai, director of the diocesan Caritas, said that "we can't just look in front of such an emergency -- concrete initiatives of solidarity are necessary, hoping that there will also be political awareness in order to find a solution for these people who are stranded at the Balkan border."

He urged to "avoid collecting material things (food, clothes, etc.) but instead to contribute to the fundraiser that will support projects already promoted by Caritas italiana in favor of these people."

Donations can be made through the website of Caritas Italiana or on the bank accounts of Caritas Cagliari (specifying as reason for payment: ''Colletta emergenza profughi Balcani'' (collection emergency refugees Balkans).

 

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