Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina was established in 1995 as an institution of the newly created Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina with an aim to coordinate support for socially deprived people and to coordinate common responses of the Caritas network to the pressing humanitarian crisis of the war that occurred during the 1990s. Caritas provided relief in the form of food, clothes, shoes, medicine, fuel and other supplies to the thousands of refugees and exiles, the elderly and sick people, socially disadvantaged, victims of war, and to those most in need.
Two decades later, the scope of Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina work continues to develop and diversify to meet the new challenges in the country, such as poverty and social exclusion, unemployment, social injustice, human trafficking, disasters, etc. In order to meet those challenges, Caritas, through its various programs and projects, seeks to provide adult education, new job opportunities, support social entrepreneurship, offer psychosocial support, and actively and continuously work on peace building and reconciliation. Year after year, the urgency of Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina services continues to grow as the deteriorating socioeconomic conditions persists and the number of poor and disadvantage rises every day.
Providing and coordinating humanitarian assistance during and after disasters or conflicts remains the cornerstone of Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina's mission. In 2010, 2011 and 2014 Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated its solidarity in the recovery process with those most in need when the worst floods in decades created numerous landslides forcing thousands of families in numerous municipalities to evacuate their damaged or destroyed homes. Despite the exposure to natural hazards and action in disaster risk reduction in the country, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina is responding to disasters worldwide, providing symbolic but valuable support to those affected.
One of the biggest macroeconomic problems blighting the region the last twenty years has been a high unemployment and poverty rate. With its programs, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina strives to respond to the needs of people, observing needs and resources in the field and engaging itself in the creation of improved socio-economic contexts, providing services for the most deprived ones.
With the implementation of the Organisational Development Programme and Caritas Internationalis Management Standards, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina is continuously investing in its personnel, structure and procedures, thus increasing its own capacities and reliability to the potential partners and donors.
Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina national office is located in Sarajevo and employs 14 persons, while the three (arch) diocesan Caritas organisations are based in Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka, employing approximately 230 staff and 500 volunteers. The national Caritas' main functions are coordination of common programs, capacity building, advocacy and lobbying, public relations, emergency response coordination and poverty observation. The updated Strategic Framework covers the period 2017-2021.
Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina is a member of Caritas Internationalis and Caritas Europa. It actively collaborates with and receives support from the Caritas confederation. In particular, Caritas members from Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and USA have representatives present in the country to offer assistance during the initial implementation and development stages of various programmes.
H.E. Cardinal Vinko Puljic
Mgr Tomo Knezevic
Mehmed bega Kapetanovica
Bosnia and Herzegovina
IBAN: BA39 338 060 48937 86133
BIC or SWIFT CODE: UNCRBA 22