Order of Malta distributes food aid to children in migrant camps near Sarajevo
The project is run in cooperation with Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina
In the days leading up to Easter, the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Bosnia and Herzegovina – in cooperation with Caritas – distributed food parcels for children in the migrant camps in Ušivak near the capital Sarajevo.
Since autumn 2019, the Embassy of the Order of Malta has been allocating funds to help children in both the Ušivak camp near Sarajevo and the Sedra camp near Cazin.
There are an estimated 8,000 migrants in camps throughout the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Most of them arrived thinking to move further and enter the territory of the European Union, but Bosnia and Herzegovina usually become a dead end street. They cannot cross the border to Croatia, and they cannot return to Serbia. They are at the mercy of the traffickers because they are desperate for a way out,” explains the Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pawel Gierynski.
“Families with young children realize that further illegal border crossings are no longer an option, especially during the harsh Balkan winters. So they settle in camps where there is a lack of adequate care especially for children, which is why we have decided to support the youngest ones,” the Ambassador further explains.
The aid provided by the Order of Malta consists of food parcels with formula milk for babies, medical care and medicines, and is distributed in cooperation with Caritas.
The pandemic has further aggravated the situation by preventing volunteers from accessing the camps. Poor hygiene conditions mean that contagions are frequent and medical assistance is insufficient. “As everywhere else, the pandemic affects mainly the poor, and these people are the absolute bottom of the social ladder,” Ambassador Gierynski concludes.