Where We Work

Introduction to Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia is one of the most culturally and religiously diverse countries in Europe. In the 3.3 million populated country, it is possible to see a mosque, synagogue and church on the same street. The ‘heart shaped land’ is also home to artisans and craftsmen who have upcycled remnants of the war into compelling artistic pieces. 

The Bosnia war, which began in 1992 and ended in 1995, left 4.2 million Bosnians internally and externally displaced, destroyed infrastructure, and resulted in a collapsed economy. Ever since, the country has made significant progress in reconstructing infrastructure, state-building, and social integration. 

However, high unemployment rates and gender inequality continue to negatively impact peoples’ ability to access nutritious food, education and healthcare. The low employment rates have resulted in many of the youth and widow populations to leave the country in search of secure livelihoods elsewhere. 

Bosnia has also become an intermediate destination for migrants and refugees. The new migrant and refugee population have put a strain on already limited resources, such as food, water and sanitation, and shelter. The lack of adequate shelter has left many people in Bosnia to live in abandoned buildings and makeshift shelters, in which conditions are made worse during the harsh winter months.

Why do the people of need your support?

For people across Bosnia-Herzegovina, life is incredibly challenging:

  • 57.22% of the total number of unemployed people are women, including single mothers (Labour and Employment Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2020)

  • 75,000 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina to reach western Europe (UNHCR, 2021)

  • 18.56% or 640,000 people live in poverty (UNICEF, 2018)

Islamic Relief in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Islamic Relief started its work in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, where we delivered food, water, and clothes to vulnerable populations across the country. After the war, we established an office in Sarajevo and served communities to rebuild homes, schools, and provide Ramadan and Qurbani food packages. 

Through our emergency and development projects, we implement food security, livelihood, non-food items, education, and psycho-social support. Islamic Relief Canada particularly focuses our efforts on single-parent families and orphans in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Our current projects provide foreign language, IT, and Quran lessons to orphans and single mothers with the purpose of increasing their opportunity for higher education and employment, as well as agriculture and animal rearing resources to improve income-generating opportunities and food security.

Winterization efforts include distributing clothes, blankets, heating kits, and other non-food items to help families better cope during the winter season. We are currently distributing hygiene kits, sleep bags, winter clothes and boots to 3,000 migrants.

Follow your donation

Follow your donation and see your impact over the past year in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

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