USAID and UNICEF provide 1600 hygiene packs to the Roma communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The hygiene packages for Roma communities are part of the USAID support to UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovinato combat the crisis caused by the COVID-19
Sarajevo, 11.05.2020: USAID Director in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Ms. Nancy J. Eslick and UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina dr. Rownak Khan, handed over a donation - hygiene packages for the Roma community in the settlement of Malo Čajno of Visoko Municipality.
This donation is a part of a larger response of USAID and UNICEF to the affected population, responding to the urgent requests by governments at all levels. The total value of USAID assistance is 500,000 USD, through UNICEF to coordinate the response, focusing mainly on risk communication, mental and psychosocial support, the supply of hygiene kits and promotion of critical behavioural changes at the community level.
“Roma children and communities are among the most vulnerable due to socio-economic reasons. There are huge disparities in basic social service coverage including vaccination, between Roma and other populations. Full immunisation coverage for Roma children was only 4% according to the latest available data. This is not acceptable. Now we are working together with Roma communities to increase immunisation among their children. At the same time, we need to provide them with additional resources for personal protection and improve hygiene to reduce further risk of infection and therefore inequity.”, said Dr Rownak Khan, UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The event was attended by the representatives of Visoko Municipality and members of Roma community of Malo Čajno.
“Roma experience more severe poverty and social exclusion than almost all other marginalized groups. However, Roma experience of poverty and social exclusion is compounded and intensified by deep-seated prejudice and discrimination. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. government has committed more than $900 million in assistance specifically aimed at fighting the pandemic in more than 120 of the most at-risk countries around the world, including Bosnia and Herzegovina. I want to assure you that USAID delivers more than just funds. We bring technical assistance, training, capacity building, health systems strengthening, and life-saving medications. USAID’s critical, life-saving work will continue. We are monitoring the situation in BiH and planning for additional assistance as needed”, said USAID Director in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Nancy J. Eslick.
Mujo Fafulic, of the NGO "Romalen" Kakanj, received the donation, explaining the situation of Roma communities.
”The assistance of USAID and UNICEF is very important for this community, which is a bit forgotten and neglected because it is not somewhere in the city centre, so this came in handy. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are limited to going anywhere and earning some money for their family and providing them with food and hygiene supplies. Food is something you can't live without, so they spend the little money they have on it, and if something is left it is for the hygiene. USAID and UNICEF today distributed packages to 75 families from the Mala čajna community in Visoko, and
the packages include soaps, shampoos, disinfectants, dishwashing detergents and other. I am sure that it means a lot to them at this time when maintaining hygiene is more important than usual,” said Mujo Fafulić, a member of the NGO Romalen Kakanj.
The same donation has been handed over today to the Roma community of Gorica in Sarajevo. Over the next few weeks, around 1600 Roma families all over BIH will receive these hygiene packs.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.