Bosnia and Herzegovina
People in Need first started working in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the early 1990s in response to the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. After the outbreak of the war, People in Need sent humanitarian workers and supplies into the country to provide immediate and emergency relief to those affected by the conflict. The war decimated the country’s infrastructure and economy and resulted in the displacement of half of the country’s population.
A quarter of a century on, the country continues to undergo the complicated process of state-building and transition following the war. As the country transitions and recovers politically, economically and socially, post-war BiH still faces many challenges.
One of these challenges relates to the country’s treatment of people with disabilities. In BiH, people with disabilities are often economically and socially excluded on a much larger scale than those in Western Europe. People with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities are often placed in institutions, rather than being empowered to live independently. PIN, together with local partners and local authorities, has been working to change the system of care for people with disabilities in the country. By supporting the process of deinstitutionalisation and promoting Independent Living services, PIN aims to provide more dignified social conditions for people with disabilities so they can live, work and socialise freely in their community and have greater control over their lives. PIN also runs awareness raising campaigns in order to combat discrimination and prejudices towards people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities.
Alongside PIN’s projects aimed at supporting people with disabilities in BiH, PIN mobilised to respond to the floods which hit BiH and Serbia in 2014, took dozens of lives and caused extensive material losses.