Bosnia and Herzegovina

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CRS in Bosnia and Herzegovina

More than 20 years after the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to achieve a peaceful and just society. The country continues to have thousands of displaced people and an unemployment rate of 44%. More than 18% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Poor economic conditions coupled with divisive nationalistic political rhetoric, mono-ethnic communities and segregated schools continue to threaten the stabilization of the region. War victims, women victims of rape, their families and general citizens struggle to recover from the violent conflict that left 400,000 people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.


People served: 360,278

Population: 3,867,055 (July 2015 est.)

Size: 19,767 sq. mi.; slightly smaller than West Virginia

CRS' History in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Catholic Relief Services came to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993 to provide emergency relief to people living under siege in Sarajevo. At the end of the war, half the population of the country of 4 million was displaced. CRS responded by assisting families to return to homes they fled during the war. CRS continues these efforts through rebuilding and constructing housing and infrastructure, promoting livelihoods and education, and providing psychological support. CRS supports peacebuilding by working with war victims' associations to recover from trauma and move toward tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation.