Bosnia and Herzegovina Crisis Response Plan 2023 - 2024

Last updated: November 27 2023
Funding required
People Targeted

IOM Vision

IOM’s vision, in line with the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, is to work through a whole-of-society and a whole-of-government approach to contribute to a safe, prosperous, and resilient Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) by addressing the humanitarian needs of transiting migrants while supporting longer-term solutions, peace and social cohesion. IOM will continue to support the Government of BiH to effectively manage functioning migrant reception, protection, and other assistance to meet the challenges of an increasing number of migrants transiting the country and contribute to ensuring their dignity, safety, and security. Furthermore, IOM will work with communities and the government to build social cohesion, preparedness for disasters, and resilience to drivers of instability in order to address negative drivers of emigration and prevent displacement.

Key Operating Modalities
Participation and empowerment Conflict sensitivity Integrated Programming Collaboration and partnership Localization
Cross-cutting priorities
Data and evidence Protection Mainstreaming Gender Equality Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse Disaster Risk Climate Change Law and policy

Objective 1 - Saving lives and protecting people on the move
Saving lives and protecting people on the move

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
International migrant, Local population / community, Refugee
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

IOM will continue working with the UN, civil society, and other partners to provide support and assistance to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees transiting in BiH. In 2024, IOM plans to advance further in the transition to a fully state-led migration response including the reception of migrants transiting the country. IOM will increasingly strive to take a technical assistance role in the response. Host communities where migrants are present will continue to be targeted to ensure cohesiveness, dialogue and cooperation between residents and people on the move.

IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams will collect data in reception centres and outside locations where migrants gather or live, to provide the humanitarian community and interested public with information on trends and identified gaps to ensure an effective, coherent and well-evidenced migrant crisis response.

Camp coordination and camp management

In 2024, IOM will aim to advance the hand-over camp management to the state authorities while increasingly providing technical assistance and expertise. IOM will ensure that AAP mechanisms are in place and fully operational by the time of this transition, ensuring migrants have a voice in camp management. IOM will:

  • Provide technical assistance and continued capacity-building of state partners in CCCM best practices, AAP, community engagement, and durable solutions options for beneficiaries.
  • Support the implementation of long-term strategies for sustainable reception facilities tailored to the profiles and needs of the persons accommodated, and integrated with the local communities.
  • Continue to support state partners in improving registration capacities, including equipment and software, for protection-sensitive registration and referrals to services;
  • Support the state in conducting day-to-day CCCM activities in the reception centres.
Funding required
Plan types

Shelter and settlements

In 2024, IOM will aim to conclude the transition to the full government management of shelters, with IOM technical support. With this aim, IOM will continue building the capacity of the SFA for more independent shelter provision and daily operations of TRCs. IOM will also continue to provide protection and other essential services. While the state will lead the shelter and basic service provision, IOM will be contributing with technical support and expertise in providing shelter and basic services to migrants transiting the country, and the running costs of the centres, cleaning and maintenance staff, non-food items and food provision. Specifically, IOM will:

  • Improve the SFA capacity for more independent provision of the protection and gender-sensitive reception and accommodation capacity in TRCs and other forms of accommodation.
  • Support the state in running day-to-day activities at shelter facilities, including utilities, WASH facilities, provision of culturally sensitive and healthy food, non-food items, transport, amenities, etc.
  • Ensure continued provision of services, such as protection, voluntary return options, etc.
  • Initiate the set-up of community-based shelter options that provide both migrants and host communities with more opportunities, and implement a small-scale cash-based solutions initiative.
Funding required
Plan types

Direct health support

Following the transition, IOM will fund the provision of medical support to migrants through the public health system, while maintaining the minimum necessary health facilities in the reception facilities. IOM will ensure the availability of emergency services in the reception centres, first aid and basic health provision, and transportation services to healthcare centres. With this aim, IOM will:

  • Support the public health care system to provide medical care to migrants through health care centres by providing public health insurance policies to migrants, continued capacity-building of medical staff on culturally and vulnerability sensitive health care provision, and material support to increase health provision capacities.
  • Ensure all TRCs have emergency services and transport to emergency rooms available, through a partnership between IOM-supported medical professionals and public emergency rooms.
  • Ensure mobile health services for migrants staying outside the TRCs through IOM-run mobile teams.
Funding required
Plan types


IOM will continue enhancing cooperation with, and strengthening the capacity of, key state actors in identifying vulnerabilities. Furthermore, IOM will continue to expand its provision of protection services, in coordination with local institutions and partners. IOM will:

  • Broaden early identification of vulnerable persons inside and outside of TRCs.
  • Provide technical support to SFA staff in migrant screening, registration, and referral to protection services.
  • Continue providing support to the SFA to strengthen their local capacities in displacement tracking and monitoring in the country, registration and analysis of migratory trends.
  • Improve the capacities of protection stakeholders to deliver protection services to migrants and asylum seekers.
  • Increase the provision of protection services for migrants assisted in the TRCs.
Funding required
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Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

IOM will strive to improve the mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services provided inside and outside of TRCs, increasing its availability to migrants, especially those in vulnerable categories. IOM will:

  • Continue providing mental health screening inside and outside TRCs.
  • Increase access to MHPSS for migrants and asylum-seekers assisted in BiH.
Funding required
Plan types

Displacement tracking

The DTM aims to improve the access of national institutions, civil society, and humanitarian responders to accurate, up-to-date data and knowledge on migrants arriving to, and present in, BiH. IOM will conduct individual surveys of migrants to collect information on demographics, including countries of origin as well as transit areas, detailed information on specific vulnerabilities, socioeconomic circumstances, routes, and further movement intentions, among other relevant topics. Following data analysis, reports will be disseminated to stakeholders and used as guidance for knowledge-based policy, technical, and capacity building. IOM’s DTM will publish some sets of de-personalized data on its web platform for free use by third parties, when in line with IOM data policies.

In 2024, IOM will:

  • Continue to provide regular and systematic data on migrants inside and outside of formal reception centres in BiH to a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Issue analytical reports on statistical trends and projections of migrant arrivals and demographic trends, among others.
  • Maintain publicly available databases and dashboards to present the data to the wider public.
  • Support state migration data management.
  • Continue to develop and operate the early information system on likely changes in the number of arrivals to be expected. This will be done by integrating data collected along the route, from Türkiye and Western Balkans, into the BiH early information system to enable a planned and orderly response and resource mobilization and pre-positioning to be expected
Funding required
Plan types
The Temporary Reception Centre in Lipa. © IOM 2022
The Temporary Reception Centre in Lipa. © IOM 2022

Objective 2 - Driving solutions to displacement
Driving solutions to displacement

Funding required
People Targeted
Entities Targeted
International migrant, Local population / community
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

IOM will support local communities to ensure that mechanisms dedicated to strengthening communities continue to function and to continuously engage young leaders dedicated to community resilience. IOM will ensure the continuity of the targeted communities through targeted yet flexible support. New communities will receive direct support, including youth, families, marginalized community members, religious, cultural, and education leaders and individuals facing socioeconomic stressors. IOM will continue to support social cohesion activities between and among host communities and migrants as well as initiatives that reduce xenophobia and divisive narratives.

By 2024, IOM aims to build upon tools and plans developed with the state and civil protection institutions to upscale the readiness of local communities for disasters. IOM will continue coordinating with the State, entity, district and local actors to increase their readiness for disasters, particularly in the context of climate change. IOM will maintain its whole-of-society approach and continue to ensure the participation of local community leaders, volunteers and youth, both men and women, to ensure a grassroots approach to disaster risk reduction. 

Community stabilization

IOM will assist communities of return, and the Government of BiH to be prepared for the reintegration of returnees from conflict zones in line with international standards. Given the complexities and political sensitivity related to the return and reintegration of returnees from conflict zones, a flexible and process-oriented approach, tailored to the specific needs, and in close cooperation with the responsible government authorities, is required. The timing, as well as the expected numbers of returnees, will also affect the intensity and scale of project interventions across the region.

IOM will contribute to enhanced social cohesion in communities hosting migrants, and enable a response to the migration emergency that benefits people on the move and BiH citizens alike. IOM will:

  • Support the BiH government’s preparedness to reintegrate and rehabilitate returnees from conflict zones.
  • Support receiving communities by building their resilience and by strengthening their capacities to play an active role in the reintegration of returnees from conflict zones.
  • Support interventions benefitting host communities and create opportunities for dialogue and intercultural exchange, to improve citizens’ perceptions and attitudes towards migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees.
  • Engage with the media and popular voices in local communities to foster more accurate and compassionate narratives on migrant issues in the public discourse.
  • Advocating with relevant government decision-makers at all levels, to improve public perceptions of migration, fight xenophobia and enable constructive solutions to local community challenges.

Additionally, IOM will continue supporting the implementation of the Transition Plan for the increasing role of the state in the migration response. IOM will support the implementation of solutions that give migrants access to services that provide them with tools and capacities to integrate into the BiH or EU societies, in line with the opportunities that exist for such regular pathways, such as for asylum seekers or victims of trafficking. Based on the identified regular pathways and protection rights, IOM will build the capacities of partners and stakeholders to expand the access of migrants to services and support. IOM will:

  • Build the capacities of authorities to enhance integration options as part of case management and assistance to vulnerable categories.
  • Focus on finding integration and regular pathways for migrants and asylum seekers in TRCs through access to legal aid, asylum registration, temporary protection, family reunification and other forms of status resolution, according to the BiH legal framework.
  • Prioritize the inclusion of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in host societies and integration of those eligible to stay, to combat discrimination, xenophobia and exclusion.
  • Continue advocating for local host communities to continue to receive aid to cope with the increased pressures related to migrants’ presence, increased use of public services, and improved local assistance to migrants, asylum seekers and local residents.
  • Explore possibilities with donors and local partners for smaller centres or other residential units, spread across BiH and tailored to the needs of their residents, particularly for those who are stranded and in need of long-term solutions.
Funding required
Plan types

Health system strengthening

Currently, health care is mainly provided by BiH medical institutions, with funding passing through partner organizations. IOM and partners aim to increase state ownership in the migration response, and therefore to make the response more sustainable. The new system will be based on national health insurance for migrants transiting BiH, funding primary healthcare practitioners and health facilities. They will carry the main responsibility for health service provision in TRCs and will make referrals to secondary healthcare for a higher level of clinical care. IOM medical teams will act as a liaison point between camp administration, healthcare practitioners engaged in TRCs, and IOM management to ensure that health provision is fully integrated into the overall management of TRCs. The guiding principle in this area will be to align the health service provision system for migrants to the country's standards and norms and secure greater ownership of the model by the health authorities. IOM will:

  • Continue to support the provision of migrants with access to health care in the transition period to a state-led health system for migrants transiting BiH.
  • Continue to increase ownership by local health providers to provide medical assistance to migrants through the public health insurance system, on par with insured citizens.
Funding required
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Mental health and psychosocial support in transition and recovery

In 2024, IOM will aim to improve the sustainability of community-based mental health and psychosocial support services provided to vulnerable groups, by ensuring local ownership and encouraging institutional support to local civil society in communities that continue to struggle with war legacies and/or lack resilience to instability. IOM will seek to:

  • Work with local governments to secure their support for sustainable community-based MHPSS that is conducive to long-term stability.
  • Work with local civil society partners to continue improving community-based MHPSS services.
  • Continue to support Mental Health Centres to improve MHPSS service availability in communities with low social cohesion.
Funding required
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Peacebuilding and peace preservation

IOM will continue supporting stakeholders' efforts to increase community resilience to destabilizing phenomena, including extremism in all its forms and climate change as a medium-term threat to peace and stability. In 2024, the focus will be on increasing the sustainability and durability of existing mechanisms for resilience to conflict. However, IOM will continue working with youth to increase adaptiveness to climate change, bolster youth activism and leadership for enhanced civic and political engagement, promote inclusive narratives, and expand youth participation in decision-making processes. IOM will:

  • Support sustainable local mechanisms, local civil society, youth, and communities to increase civic engagement for positive change in their communities.
  • Support local civil society, youth, and communities to produce and disseminate positive media content as an alternative to divisive and extremist media content.
  • Enable more community members, youth and adults, to engage in building active community networks adapted to climate change and other drivers of instability.
  • Adapt and embed the methodology to counter harmful male-gendered traits, including misogyny and emotional repression, and other drivers of violent extremism at the psychosocial level into appropriate local institutions.
  • Build capacities of key institutions to act as multipliers of preventing violent extremism efforts, ensuring community cohesion which contributes to long-run resilience.
Funding required
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Adaptation and disaster risk reduction

IOM will continue to strengthen the preparedness and response to disasters among local communities and key stakeholders by building on the progress achieved in the previous period. In this regard, IOM will use a people-centred approach to improve the safety, security, and well-being of people in hazard-prone areas, and advance the preparedness and risk reduction efforts of stakeholders in the context of addressing the health dimensions of disasters. This effort will be closely coordinated at all levels of government, including at the local level, and seek out the participation of local community leaders, both men and women, to successfully engage with local communities. Specifically, IOM will:

  • Continue to deliver CCCM trainings in municipalities/cities, including MHPSS first aid trainings in emergency contexts and training of trainers, followed by cascade trainings in at-risk municipalities.
  • Continue to donate essential equipment to increase preparedness and respond to immediate rescue and shelter needs in crises to relevant government civil protection actors.
  • Continue to support the government in lessening or limiting the adverse impacts of hazards and related disasters through various disaster mitigation practices.
  • Support trainings on the use of donated equipment.
  • Build capacities of civil protection practitioners through disaster response CCCM simulation exercises.
  • Support civic engagement and participatory DRR activities in target municipalities/cities.
  • Continue strengthening the public health capacities to respond to the health dimensions of disasters.
Funding required
Plan types
Operational presence in

Bosnia and Herzegovina

International staff and affiliated work force
National staff and affiliated work force
IOM field office

The map used here is for illustration purposes only. Names and boundaries do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by IOM.

Figures are as of 31 December 2023. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.

With thanks to our current donors