Swiss support in mitigating COVID-19 consequences in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Position, 15.01.2021

We are facing a tremendous challenge on a global scale, and we are all part of the solution!

Covid-19_We are all part of the solution
Covid-19 © PRS

The COVID-19 pandemic reached Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on 5 March 2020, with the first confirmed cases identified in Banja Luka. COVID-19 presents not only a health crisis, but a socio-economic one, hitting the poor and other vulnerable groups (such as minorities, migrants, the elderly and children) hardest. The final impact will depend very much on the duration of the crisis and the measures taken to combat the negative consequences.

Daily report on the epidemiological situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina available at

Switzerland’s response

Having been engaged in the health sector in BiH for the past 20 years, the Swiss Embassy immediately stepped up to support its long-term partners, primarily those organisations which work directly with health care facilities and health care professionals. Contingency plans have been put in place also for all other existing projects in the fields of economy and employment as well as local governance to take into account new challenges. Interventions will be adapted as necessary. Switzerland will continue to address the specific needs of migrants including those related to COVID-19 through its ongoing partnership with the Danish Refugee Council as well as through Caritas Switzerland.

Response to the needs of local authorities

At the request of BiH health authorities, the Swiss Embassy (via UNDP) financed the urgent procurement of respirators, COVID-19 diagnostic tests and protective gear for hospitals throughout the country. The Federal Public Health Institute was equipped with teleconferencing infrastructure thereby improving its communication with cantonal Health Institutes and Ministries. In addition, the Armed Forces of BiH were equipped with protective equipment and resources for carrying out the mission of “Assistance to the civilian population in BiH”.

Response to the needs of citizens

  • Financial support is being provided to Caritas Switzerland, the Roma Women Association “Bolja budućnost” and the Association “Zemlja djece u BiH” to ensure basic food items for the poor and other vulnerable persons (this comprises assistance for 2.300 households, or about 7.400 individuals).
  • Top-up funding is being provided to the Mental Health Project (implemented by the Association XY) for online psychological support of patients with mental health problems and for the purchase of basic protective equipment for medical personnel. Within the Strengthening Nursing Project, 278 community nurses in 16 municipalities were equipped with protective gears and participated in an online training on topics relevant to COVID-19.
  • 200 households in Kotor Varoš, Maglaj, Jablanica and Pale have received through the Catholic Relief Services vegetables seeds, organic manure, plant protection items as well as guidance, allowing them to meet their immediate food needs.
  • A financial contribution is being provided to the associations “Vive Žene”, “Center of Women’s Rights”, “Novi Put” and “Budućnost” for the support to victims of gender based violence.
  • Funding was provided to the Bosnian-Herzegovinian American Academy of Arts and Sciences (BHAAAS) for activities aimed at combatting COVID-19 disinformation.

Response to the needs of the economy

As part of their ongoing interventions Swiss project partners are elaborating interventions aimed at the post-pandemic economic recovery. Priorities include the following: preserving jobs, securing the livelihoods of people, and identifying new economic opportunities.

Switzerland has made so far more than CHF 2.2 million available to respond quickly to the pressing needs caused by COVID-19 in BiH.

Visualisation of the COVID-19 virus
Visualisation of the COVID-19 virus ©Fusion Medical Animation/Unsplash

Factsheet (PDF, 2 Pages, 889.9 kB) on Swiss support in mitigating COVID-19 consequences in Bosnia and Herzegovina




For further information contact
Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel. +387 33 275 850