A young migrant in Lipa, Bosnia | Photo: ANSA/Francesco Malavolta
A young migrant in Lipa, Bosnia | Photo: ANSA/Francesco Malavolta

The Italian Red Cross has launched an online fundraiser. The goal: To raise money for its operation supporting migrants and refugees in Bosnia.

The Italian Red Cross (CRI) launched a fundraising initiative for its efforts to support migrants and refugees in Bosnia on the platform GoFundMe this week. The organization has raised just over €660 thusfar (as of Thursday afternoon).

"In Bosnia-Herzegovina a grave humanitarian crisis is ongoing", CRI said. "[T]housands of migrant people are living in dramatic conditions. Everything is missing: water, food, medicines, basic services, electricity."

The organization said that both foreigners and locals in Bosnia were in need of support due to "a double emergency: the migration crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic".

Support for homeless migrants

The Italian Red Cross said it supported the work the Bosnian Red Cross "in official reception centers but also and especially outside." The organization said that "mobile units, formed by healthcare personnel, psychologists and expert volunteers, are working relentlessly to reach the many migrant refugees in the most remote areas, in inhumane conditions."

There are between 8,000 and 9,000 migrants and refugees living in Bosnia, according to estimates from UN and EU officials. About 6,000 of them are living in migrant centers, the rest lacks adequate shelter.

Not enough aid?

Two weeks ago, the CRI sent three trucks with essential items, blankets, winter clothes and shoes to the Bosnian Red Cross in Sarajevo and Bihać, a city located near the border with Croatia, according to Francesco Rocca, the president of the CRI and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). But he said that more aid was needed. "The situation is still dramatic and we must intervene," he said. "It is not possible to live in such conditions, we cannot look the other way."

The CRI is not the first organization to raise funds for migrants in Bosnia recently -- in late January, an Italian branch of Caritas launched a fundraiser for migrants at Lipa camp.


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