The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says thousands of migrants stuck near the Bosnian-Croatian border face life-threatening conditions as cold weather sets in.
More than 23 000 migrants have entered Bosnia-Herzegovina since the beginning of the year, hoping to reach the European Union through Croatia. Most achieved their goal before Croatia closed its border during the summer, trapping some 5300 migrants on the Bosnian side.
The International Red Cross Federation says most of the migrants are living in miserable conditions in tents, abandoned buildings and makeshift camps in the forest. IFRC spokesman Matthew Cochrane tells VOA those ad hoc settlements offer little or no protection against winter temperatures that can drop as low as 15 degrees below zero Celsius.
“We are concerned that without a really decisive intervention in the coming weeks to bolster the work that is already being done that some people will face a very difficult winter and potentially, we could even see people freezing to death,” he said.
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(Archive photo: UNHCR/L Pavicevic)