Hunger in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Years of war and a fragmented economic system have resulted in high rates of unemployment and hunger in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As far back as the early 1990s, the republic has faced hunger issues and has yet to resolve them.

Restless demonstrators and the hungry have joined together to protest the idea that there is “no hunger” in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. 17 government buildings have been set aflame in frustration as the government works to find solutions to the unemployment and hunger epidemic. Iconically spoken in the country’s three official languages, the protests have attracted demonstrators from more than 30 cities.

Most of the demonstrations are addressing the up-and-down economic trends over the years that have caused a spike in unemployment. Between 1992 and 1995, the country faced an 80 percent drop in production, which improved until the worldwide economic crisis of 2008. In 2013 the country recovered again, with the private sector slowly growing.

In 2016, the country’s GDP was estimated at $42.23 billion, an increase from 2015’s $41.2 billion. However, unemployment in 2016 was estimated at 28 percent, an increase from 2015’s 27.7 percent, while the population below the poverty line in 2011 was at 17.2 percent.

Despite these economic trends, undernourishment and hunger rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina have fallen. Starting in 2000, the undernourishment percentage was reported at 4.1, then decreased to 2.2 in 2008 and 0.9 percent in 2016. The prevalence of wasting in children and the mortality rate have also followed the same trend.

To address the unstable economy and the ever-present hunger in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has created 17 sustainable development goals. The second goal directly tackles the hunger epidemic the country has faced in the past decades. The goal is to end hunger by 2030 by promoting sustainable agricultural practices such as supporting small-scale farmers and allowing access to land, technology and markets.

As hunger rates continue to fall, the country along with the UNDP will continue to find solutions to end hunger in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Additionally, by creating an economic system to lower the country’s unemployment rates and increase the overall GDP, the country will continue to see a drop in hunger rates.

Amira Wynn

Photo: Flickr