Caring for the elderly, the sick, and the exhausted people is an essential measure of society.
According to demographic trends, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is getting older. UN data shows that more than 30% of the total population in BiH will be people over 65 by the end of 2060, which is significantly higher than 17% of the older people share in BiH in 2019. Developed European countries also face faster population aging, but better social services and care significantly differentiate them from BiH. Unfavorable economic conditions, complex government structure, high unemployment rate, and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic intensify the problems of older people in BiH. Data (2017) shows that every fourth person in BiH who lives alone and is over 65 is poor. Older women are particularly affected by poverty. The Ageing and Health project, implemented by the Swiss Red Cross (SRC), aims to strengthen the capacity of The Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina and local communities in the Republic of Srpska (RS) and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), to create a better, healthier, and more stimulating environment that will positively affect the life and health of older people in BiH. The Swiss Red Cross has supported The Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina for more than eight years to improve this highly vulnerable population's living conditions. Ageing and Health Phase I builds on previously successful Swiss humanitarian initiatives and fully complements the United Nations Development Goals (SDGs). The project is currently implemented in Tuzla, Lukavac, Zivinice, Zepce, Samac, Doboj, Foca, Kalesija, Prnjavor, and Brcko District.
The project corresponds to the health system and supports public policies on healthy aging in BiH. In addition to care services and home care provided at the municipal level, the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entity organizations based in Sarajevo and Pale will advocate for standardizing services at the entity level in RS, at the cantonal level FBiH, and Brcko District.