We have worked in Serbia since 1991, when the country was part of Yugoslavia. Since 2014, our teams have provided medical and psychological assistance for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Today, the Republic of Serbia remains a country of transit. Currently there are around 5,000 refugees and migrants in the territory of Serbia – some live in centres across the country while others are sleeping rough.

We provide medical and psychological assistance to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the northern border areas of Serbia. As people attempt to cross the borders, many sustain injuries from beatings by batons and sticks, as well as irritations from tear gas and pepper spray. We assist people stranded in appalling conditions and carry out medical consultations for violence-related trauma. 

Our activities in 2020 in the Balkans

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020; staff and expenditure figures, and description and data on activities covers both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

MSF in the Balkans in 2020 In 2020, thousands of migrants and refugees attempted to cross the Balkans in the hope of reaching other European destinations, despite illegal pushbacks and reports of increasing border violence.
Map of MSF activities in 2020 in the Balkans

From January to March, MSF ran a clinic in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, offering general healthcare, mental health services and social support for vulnerable people. We also provided general and mental healthcare to migrants arriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In both locations, our teams offered care to victims of physical violence reportedly perpetrated by Croatian and Hungarian border guards and authorities. Also, we provided assistance to people whose health had been affected by poor living conditions, significant gaps in medical assistance and a lack of food, shelter, clean clothes and hygiene facilities.  

In the first months of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic led to extensive lockdowns in the region, which had an impact on our activities and the people we were assisting. With temperatures dropping and the number of COVID-19 cases increasing, migrants living outside the official accommodation system were transferred to camps, where they were forced to stay. 

In December, we returned to the region to deliver care through mobile clinics to people stranded close to the border areas and to victims of violence.  


Tondo project in Philippines
Photo Story

A year in pictures 2017

18 Dec 2017
Photo Story
Serbia: Games of violence

Children repeatedly abused by border authorities

Project Update 3 Aug 2017
Winter Conditions in Belgrade, Serbia.

MSF denounces the widespread violence on migrants and refugees at the Serbian/Hungarian border

Press Release 9 Mar 2017
Winter Living Conditions in Belgrade, Serbia
Refugees, IDPs and people on the move

Thousands trapped in freezing temperatures in Greece and the Balkans

Project Update 9 Jan 2017
Transit Zone on the Serbia - Hungarian Border

Sharp increase in violence against migrants since border closures in the Balkans

Project Update 22 Jul 2016
June 2016- Bourbon Argos Mediterranean search and rescue
Mediterranean migration

EU Migration Crisis Update - June 2016

Crisis Update 17 Jun 2016