In 2017, UNHCR and UNICEF developed a Joint Strategy for Addressing Childhood Statelessness, with the aim to, in close collaboration with relevant authorities, Roma representatives and other stakeholders in BiH, eradicate the risk of statelessness among Roma children and to ensure their full access to the rights of citizenship in BiH.
Based on the processes initiated with the regional Sarajevo declaration of 2005 (Sarajevo process) and subsequent donor conference in 2012, UNHCR and OSCE assist four partner countries in implementing the Regional Housing Programme. Its implementation in BiH so far, and UNHCR’s role in assisting the government in beneficiary selection, until the end of 2017 led to provision of comprehensive housing solutions for 435 displaced families while further 1.260 vulnerable families were selected.
A multi-year project (2014 – 2016) Annex VII Action: Support to Durable Solutions of Revised Annex VII Dayton Peace Agreement Implementation Strategy co-financed by EU and UNHCR provided legal, housing, psychosocial, economic sustainability and other types of assistance to 2.700 vulnerable returnees and IDPs in ten BiH municipalities and a further 10.000 legal assistance throughout the country.
In 2017, UNHCR implemented a capacity strengthening project in six BiH municipalities with the intent to improve local vulnerable beneficiary selection process and cooperation with relevant NGO sector. Further ten BiH municipalities were included in the project in its data management capacity building phase. As direct result of the project, 16 BiH municipalities stand ready to engage their own resources in finding solutions for well-established groups of vulnerable returnees and IDPs as well as provide credible inputs in seeking outside assistances. Over the course of the duration of the project, 1.316 returnees and IDPs benefited from economical sustainability grants.
From 2015 to 2017, UNHCR in partnership with the NGO Union for Sustainable Return and Integration (UZOPI) implemented a profiling exercise in 53 BiH municipalities interviewing over 11.500 returnees and IDPs and gathering comprehensive knowledge on their current socio-economic, legal, health and other relevant status. The consolidated data and subsequent analysis was used in implementing projects as well as trigger for advocacy for further donor engagement in support to MHRR led implementation of the “Revised strategy for the implementation of Annex VII” of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA).
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, over 8.500 people still live in 156 collective centres (CCs) and alternative accommodation (AA). Thanks to a loan from the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and a technical support grant from the EU, BiH authorities have pledged to close all CCs and AAs and the “CEB II Project” was designed with UNHCR’s assistance with an ultimate goal of closing 121 collective centres and providing social housing for their former tenants. Within the framework of the project, a needs assessment exercise was completed interviewing 5.060 CC and AA inhabitants.
The 2013 – 2016 Birač Project was a joint initiative of UNDP, UNICEF and UNHCR that built on previous support to the municipalities in the Birač region and argued for inter-municipal and regional cooperation to support bottom-up partnership approach to development and foster territorial cohesion, following the EU LEADER-like principles complemented with human rights-based approach to programming in relation to social protection and inclusion (SPI) of returnees and IDPs. 534 displaced families also benefited of income generation assistance.
Securing better conditions of life, improving social services and other forms of support for vulnerable groups are just some of the goals of the 2013 – 2016 “Applying the Human Security Concept to Stabilize Communities in Canton 10” project jointly implemented by UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF and IOM agencies in partnership with Canton 10 Government, municipal authorities and civil society organizations. The project was funded by the UN Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS). The resulting activities saw the provision of free legal assistance to 671 beneficiaries, Early Childhood Development (ECD) services established, 5.000 elderly beneficiaries were provided with medical aid, household repair and hygiene services while 3.000 households received access to clean water. 385 returnee and IDP households were provided with income generation assistance.