The International Organization for Migration (IOM) published today the information on the implementation of the projects related to the Emergency Response to the Migrant and Refugee Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina funded by the €opean Union, which contains all information regarding financial issues related to help and accommodation provided to migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“As regards the funding received from the EU, IOM’s role is three-fold: (1) implement agreed upon activities directly or through implementing partners; (2) pass-on the funds allocated to its partner organisations UNHCR, UNICEF, UNFPA and DRC; and (3) procure equipment, goods, services and support staffing costs for BiH institutions in accordance with their priorities and expressed needs”, reads the information.
# Total funding allocated by the EU to and through IOM since June 2018: €76,851,217
# Total funding spent as of December 2020: € 51,560,327
# Remaining funding to cover period until July 2021: € 25,290,890
# Total number of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers assisted so far: 59,139
# Number of Migrant and Refugee Accommodation Centres established since June 2018: 7 with total approved capacity of 7830 beds
Once a decision is adopted by the EU on the amount of funding to be allocated, priorities and the budget are established through a meeting between representatives of the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the BiH Ministry of Security, the IOM and its UN partners and the Danish Refugee Council. The final decision on the disbursement of the funds and the budget rests with the donor.
The implementation of the budget is overseen by an ‘IPA Special Measures Steering Board’ which meets on a regular basis and consists of representatives of the EU Delegation in BiH, the Ministry of Security, the Border Police, the Service for Foreigners Affairs, the IOM and its UN Partners, as well as the DRC. This board constitutes a decision-making forum where amendments to the original budget in accordance with evolving needs are presented, discussed and decided upon.
To ensure full accountability and transparency, the IOM submits monthly financial reports to the Assistant Minister for Migration (within BiH Ministry of Security) and the EU Delegation in BiH. This report includes details on how the funds were spent in the previous month by the IOM and its implementing partners. The Assistant Minister submits these reports to the BiH Ministry of Finance for their own input and, once received and finalised, these reports are sent to the Council of Ministers prior to their session. In addition, the IOM also submits a detailed end-of-year financial report which is processed in the same manner.
“Finally, the IOM and its partners are subject to regular internal and external audits to verify that the funds were spent in accordance with the approved budget and the stringent rules of the EU in this regard. External auditors are contracted by the EU,” the Organization explains.
According to the IOM, 2% of the funds were used to cover operational and administrative costs and 14% were directed to the establishment of seven Migrant and Refugee Accommodation Centres.
“These costs cover all expenditures necessary for the establishment of migrant and refugee accommodation centres and include the initial construction and reconstruction of building and facilities for housing and services; purchasing of all necessary equipment for operating the centre; purchasing and installation of containers (where used); and creating the necessary water, electricity and sewage systems inside the centres,” the IOM underlines.
Most of the funds (77%) were spent on humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants. That includes food and nutrition, distribution of non-food items, shelter, hygiene, security, education etc. 7% was sent in direct support to the BiH institutions.
“The IOM currently employs 423 staff members in reception centres and in its outreach teams that provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees who are living in make-shift camps and abandoned buildings in Una Sana Canton. Two staff members are non-BiH citizens, while the remaining 421 are BiH citizens. Over 50% of the staff are from Una Sana Canton, while the second largest group comes from Sarajevo Canton, reflecting the efforts IOM makes to prioritise recruitment from local communities where migrant and refugee accommodation centres are located,” the Report underlines.
Concluding, the IOM emphasizes that the total value of services and items purchased amounts to more than € 31,000,000 – over 98% of these purchases were made by BiH companies, out of which 85% are local vendors based in the two Cantons where migrant and refugee accommodation centres are located, that is, Sarajevo and Una Sana Canton. /ibna