Over 173,000 Bosnians or 48,932 families had left the country in the past five years, while 73,011 people gave up on their Bosnian citizenship in the past 23 years, Merhunisa Zukic, the Head of the Union for Sustainable Return and Integration into Bosnia and Herzegovina, said on Tuesday, during a press conference.
“Last year alone, 20,943 people left the country, while this number reached 35,634 in 2017, and 34,544 in 2016,” she said. “The State also earned a total of 40 million marks (some € 20 million) in administrative fees of the 73,478 people who renounced their Bosnian citizenship.”
She noted that a little over 1 million people returned to Bosnia and 327,000 homes were reconstructed from the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia. Of that 1 million returnees, just over 1 percent were able to found a job.
Some 32,000 families still have the refugee status; over 10,000 people do not have health insurance and close to 9,000 families are socially vulnerable – without any income.
Zukic also used the press conference to present a project aimed at promoting rural and agritourism in Bosnia called ‘Let’s make living in Bosnia better,’ which is implemented with the support of the Swiss Embassy.
The goal of this project is to decrease the number of people leaving the country and strengthen local communities from three municipalities.