MSF has 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, Serbia remains a country of transit. Some migrants and asylum seekers reside temporarily in urban settings across the country while others are staying in informal settlements, sleeping in tents in abandoned factories or fields close to the border with Hungary, Romania and Croatia.

Our teams provide medical assistance and health promotion activities as well as distribution of non-food items to asylum seekers and migrants in northern Serbia, at the border with Hungary and Romania. 
 
As people attempt to cross the borders, many sustain injuries from falling off the fence or because they are beaten with batons or sticks by the border forces, 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 to document violence and to bear witness of such concerning practices. 

Our activities in 2021 in the Balkans

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021; staff and expenditure figures, and description and data on activities cover both Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

MSF in the Balkans in 2021 Thousands of people attempted to cross through the Balkans in 2021, in search of safety in other European destinations, despite reports of illegal pushbacks and indiscriminate violence by state authorities.
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In Serbia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assisted migrants and refugees living outside official accommodation, along the northern borders with Croatia, Hungary and Romania. Through mobile clinics, we offered medical and mental health care, as well as social support. In February 2021, MSF donated 2.5 tons of essential relief items, such as blankets and hygiene kits, to civil society organisations in Serbia to be distributed to people in need.

Between January and September, we also had teams working along the border areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina, providing medical and mental health care to victims of violence.

Throughout the year, and in both locations, our patients included victims of physical violence reportedly perpetrated by border authorities. We also treated people whose health had been affected by low temperatures in the region, poor living conditions, significant gaps in medical assistance and a lack of food, shelter, clean clothes and hygiene facilities.

 

 
Family At The Sid-Tovarnik Border, Serbia
Photo Story

In European Fields

27 Oct 2015
Photo Story
 
slovenia
Slovenia

People in transit in urgent need of assistance

Press Release 26 Oct 2015
 
Mediterranean migration

Up to 3,000 people stranded at the border between Serbia and Croatia without shelter

Project Update 19 Oct 2015
 
Family At The Sid-Tovarnik Border, Serbia
Mediterranean migration

Testimonies from Syrian refugees at the border between Croatia and Serbia

Voices from the Field 16 Oct 2015
 
Refugees In Bapska, Serbia
Mediterranean migration

“The determination of the refugees to reach their destination is shocking.”

Voices from the Field 15 Oct 2015
 
 MSF Mobile Clinics In Bapska, Serbia
Mediterranean migration

Thousands crossing the Balkans exposed to unnecessary suffering

Project Update 15 Oct 2015