Life, Europe

Trapped migrants battle Bosnia's freezing winter

Despite humanitarian efforts, irregular migrants at risk of hypothermia

10.12.2018
Trapped migrants battle Bosnia's freezing winter File Photo

By Talha Ozturk, Kayhan Gul

BELGRADE, Serbia

More than 5,000 migrants in Bosnia Herzegovina will spend New Year's eve in biting cold winter.

With temperatures set to fall below freezing and snow, refugees face the danger of hypothermia.

Many irregular refugees from faraway countries are seeking shelter in abandoned buildings and tents provided by humanitarian groups.

More than 23,000 refugees entered the country since the beginning of 2018, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRC) said in a statement on Monday.

Some 5,000 refugees are currently in Bosnia, it added.

"Despite the efforts of charities to provide food and shelter, the living conditions are very bad and the risk of hypothermia is getting higher with the weather getting cooler," said Simon Missiri, IFRC regional director for Europe.

Bosnia's Red Cross provides food aid to nearly 3,000 people in six centers throughout the country, but the facilities are limited.

The Turkish Red Crescent also provided 22 tents, 300 shelters, 10,000 blankets, 1,000 kitchen sets and two mobile kitchens to the refugees in Bosnia.

Some 1,000 refugees who settled in tents provided by the Turkish Red Crescent in Bihac city near the Croatian border are safe and warm.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has found itself in the middle of a migrant crisis, with the government decrying a lack of funds.

After the Balkan route -- through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary or Croatia -- was closed to refugees in March 2016, many migrants chose Bosnia-Herzegovina as an alternative route.


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