Red Cross helps reunite families from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Topics: Worldwide, Finding Family
September 13, 2012

Red Cross helps reunite families from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Since the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1991, those living in the Balkans have suffered a relentless torrent of upheaval, violence and chaos. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the outbreak of civil war over a three-year period forced more than half the population to flee from their native lands and seek refuge in other countries.

The Canadian Red Cross responded to the international crisis in the Balkans in more ways than one. Mobilizing support within the country, the organization has been able to raise more than $6 million from generous Canadians just like yourself while also enlisting the support of the Canadian International Development Agency, which has donated more than $8 million to the plight of those in need.

The funds have allowed the Canadian Red Cross to maintain a presence in the region through various humanitarian aid programs.

From helping protect civilians to ensuring the humane treatment of detainees and supplying areas like Bosnia and Herzegovina with delegates who are expertly trained in several areas including organizational development, health, logistics and water and sanitation, the Red Cross has sought to rally the region and give it the tools needed to thrive.

Despite these monumental efforts, more assistance is needed to enable the most significant program - restoring family links - to continue forward.

While the war may have ceased, the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains dire, especially for families. More than one million people who left the country during the war are still unable to return home. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the locations of nearly 9,500 people are still unknown in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Even more unsettling is the death toll itself. Since the conflict, the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina has exhumed the remains of at least 22,000 people, yet only 19,000 have been identified using a DNA matching procedure, which is conducted by the International Commission on Missing Persons.

These heart-wrenching numbers represent more than just death and disappearance - they represent the grief caused to families who may have lost a vital loved one.

Separation from a family member can have a devastating impact on the emotional, physical and psychological well-being of loved ones left behind, but National Societies like the Canadian Red Cross can help during this turbulent time.

If you have a family member who you've been unable to contact or locate as a result of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reach out to your local Red Cross office to learn more about ways that the organization can help you find out the fate of your missing loved one. 

Section Widgets