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MEP Kelly calls for Increased Cooperation to ensure safety of Bihać Migrants

Published: Tue, 12 November 2019

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MEP for Ireland South and Leader Fine Gael in the European Parliament has called on the European Commission to work closely with the Bosnian authorities and provide additional financial assistance if necessary to appropriately relocate migrants from the overpopulated camp in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaking from Brussels today (Tuesday) ahead of a scheduled Parliamentary debate on the Situation of migrants in Bosnia, in particular in Bihać later this week, Mr. Kelly made the following comments:

“Developments in the city of Bihać are extremely concerning and there is now an urgent need to relocate these people out of the camp – known as ‘the Jungle’ – and into more adequate and suitable accommodation. We are now getting into the cold winter months, and failure to act now could lead to a real humanitarian crisis”.

Mr. Kelly, a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Human Rights went on to highlight the extremely poor living conditions in the camp and called on EU Member States to be open to increased financial assistance to Bosnia.

“The problems with this camp have been well documented in recent times; there is no running water, no electricity, no usable toilets, and the tents are overcrowded and leaking. There have been reports that on some days there can be up to 2,500 people at the camp, which has only 80 tents and just 5 Red-Cross volunteers.

“This is totally unacceptable and there is an urgent need for increased cooperation and efforts to address the situation. I welcome the additional €2 million in humanitarian aid committed by the European Union at the end of last month, and I urge the Bosnian authorities to use this money to urgently find alternative arrangements for these people.

“Maintaining the utmost solidarity, and giving support where necessary to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a potential EU candidate country, is of vital importance. For this reason I call on EU Member States to be ready to provide more financial assistance if needed to ensure the well-being and safety of the people that find themselves in this terrible situation”, concluded MEP Kelly.

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