EU allocates millions in aid to Bosnia for migrant accommodation

European Union

dpa/GNA – The European Union allocated an additional 3.5 million euros (4.2 million dollars) to Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday to provide better housing for the hundreds of migrants currently left without shelter in harsh, wintry weather.

More than 1,700 people in the canton of Una Sana lack proper shelter, European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and Civil Protection Commissioner Janez Lenarcic said on Sunday in Brussels. Some 800 are living outdoors in the cold, including children.

Borrell called the situation in Una Sana “completely unacceptable” and said that humane conditions should be guaranteed at all times.

The EU’s humanitarian aid would provide people with the most basic necessities, he said, adding that longer-term solutions were urgently needed.

Borrell urged the authorities not to leave people in the cold and without access to washing facilities in the middle of a global pandemic.

Pro Asyl, an organization representing migrants, said the European Union had failed the migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina and called for the opening of the nearby border to Croatia, a member of the EU.

The migrants have been sleeping rough since the Lipa camp was evacuated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) after the Bosnian authorities failed to make the camp winter-proof. During the eviction, some people set fire to tents and containers.

The migrants were supposed to be transferred to housing in a former army barracks but the move was prevented by local protests.

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