On the 23rd of December 20, Lipa camp in north-western Bosnia was burnt to the ground, leaving around 3,000 people without adequate shelter. This humanitarian crisis remains ongoing - today, people are still sleeping in the burnt-down Lipa camp and are without proper support during temperatures well below zero.
Lipa camp was set up in Spring 2020 as emergency accommodation in Bihac for people on the move. The camp was never equipped with heating, electricity or running water, and hence was unprepared for the freezing winter conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Currently, north-western Bosnia is blanketed by snow and experiencing temperatures that drop to -15°C. For the people staying in the destroyed camp, many have had to resort to washing themselves in the nearby freezing rivers and creeks surrounded by snow. Thousands of people are in urgent need of proper shelter and protection from the unforgiving winter conditions.
Despite of the challenging conditions, NGOs and people in the area have come together to support the community affected by the fire in Lipa camp. A group of women from Gračanica have started sewing sleeping bags to support people on the move enduring the freezing weather. NGOs working in Bosnia have been distributing hot meals, firewood and winter clothing to keep people warm during the plummeting temperatures.
“How many more camps will burn until the European authorities provide safe and legal routes for people on the move to access asylum?” - @Collectiveaidorg