USAID Continues to Support ICMP to Assist BiH in Accounting for Remaining Missing Persons

Sarajevo 7 October 2019: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded additional funding to its existing grant to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in the amount of 89,000 USD to support ICMP’s continued assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina to account for those who are still missing from the conflict of the 1990s.

Matthew Holliday, the Head of ICMP’s Western Balkans Program, thanked USAID for its support. He said the BIH authorities have been able to account for almost 23,000 of the approximately 30,000 people who were missing at the end of the conflict, but stressed that at least 7,000 families do not yet know the fate of their loved ones.

“The additional funding provided by USAID will enable ICMP to maintain its assistance to the BiH authorities to continue to search for and identify those still missing from the conflict,” Holliday said.

Nancy J. Eslick, USAID Mission Director for Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “The work that ICMP does is crucial. Accounting for the missing has been indispensable in the struggle for justice; to respond to lies with truth; to confront a monstrous crime with the steady, strong and certain application of the rule of law.”

ICMP’s program in Bosnia and Herzegovina provides assistance in forensic anthropology and archaeology, DNA matching and identification, and seeks to strengthen forensic medicine capacities in the country. ICMP is also helping the authorities to resolve the issue of unidentified remains held in BIH mortuaries.

In the last two decades, by ensuring the cooperation of the relevant post-conflict governments in the Western Balkans, ICMP has spearheaded a regional effort that has made it possible to account for 28,000 of the 40,000 people who were missing at the end of the conflict, an achievement that has not been equalled anywhere in the world.

As well as USAID, the European Union, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Sweden provide financial support to ICMP to assist the BiH authorities to address the issue of persons missing from the conflicts of the 1990s.

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ICMP is a treaty-based international organization with Headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands. Its mandate is to secure the cooperation of governments and others in locating missing persons from conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration and other causes and to assist them in doing so. It is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons.