CRS History in Croatia
Croatia's transition from a socialist to a market-based economy as a result of the war has dramatically effected the country's most vulnerable populations. War-affected areas of the country are still devastated and deeply divided and are severely lacking in economic opportunities. Despite the efforts of both the government and the international community, many homes, community facilities and much of the country's general physical infrastructure are still in need of repair.
In addition to the difficulties of daily living, Croatia is still dealing with the deep divisions that were created in the society during the war years. These divisions run not only along ethnic lines but are also to be found within ethnic groups. For example, the issue of war crimes and cooperation with the Hague Tribunal remains a point of deep disagreement within the general populace. These divisions make it difficult to rebuild civil society and to foster a climate of tolerance and peace. Addressing the myriad of complex and intertwined political, economic, and humanitarian issues is of special concern since Croatia needs to facilitate the return and reintegration of refugees and displaced persons into all aspects of community life if it is to rebuild a vibrant, healthy society.
CRS began working in Croatia in early 1993 with a program of emergency assistance. It remained in the country throughout the war, caring for refugees and displaced persons. During its early years and until 1995, CRS Croatia was also providing logistical support to CRS' emergency program in Bosnia-Herzegovina. From its beginnings in Croatia during the war as an emergency aid program,the extent of its programming has dramatically expanded in recent years. Today, CRS Croatia continues to look at ways to most effectively respond to the challenges within the country.
CRS' main office is located in Zagreb with sub-offices located in Osijek, Karlovac and Knin. CRS has 48 staff members.