South-Eastern Europe

Operational information on the South-Eastern Europe subregion is presented below. A summary of this can also be downloaded in PDF format. This subregion covers the following countries:

| Albania | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Montenegro | North Macedonia | Serbia (and Kosovo: Security Council resolution 1244 (1999)) |

Subregion: South-Eastern Europe


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The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.


  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Budgets and Expenditure in Subregion South-Eastern Europe

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2019 {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"budget":[68.10731265999999,61.208116593,45.123828406,31.50136019,34.76735289,32.43084175],"expenditure":[40.20730776,35.435352789999996,26.13463161,23.117649700000005,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[40.97210448,36.436015723,39.690538476,26.70818617,30.169644050000002,27.97262475],"p2":[3.55188212,3.27451216,5.43328993,4.7931740199999995,4.59770884,4.458217],"p3":[3.8070055,3.81259232,null,null,null,null],"p4":[19.77632056,17.684996390000002,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2016,2017,2018,2019,2020,2021],"p1":[27.853020219999998,24.1738277,22.97823708,20.180273170000003,null,null],"p2":[2.35699038,2.40666505,3.1563945299999996,2.93737653,null,null],"p3":[1.7993933999999998,1.89969319,null,null,null,null],"p4":[8.197903759999999,6.9551668499999995,null,null,null,null]}
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People of Concern - 2021 [projected]

[["Refugees",24930],["Asylum-seekers",2910],["IDPs",221600],["Returned IDPs",1300],["Returned refugees",230],["Stateless",5961],["Others of concern",115030]]
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Operational environment

In the 1990s, refugees and IDPs in South Eastern Europe were mostly from within the region, with many of those displaced still waiting for a durable solution. However, in recent years, the region has seen a significant increase in mixed movements, generally consisting of people who have already transited through multiple countries, including EU Member States, and who are trying to reach western or northern EU countries.
In 2020, an estimated 52,500 people attempted to transit through the region yet only some 4,600 (9%) submitted an asylum claim. Asylum systems in the region throughout 2020 appear to have been largely overwhelmed by the mixed movements as only 281 RSD interviews were conducted, and only 85 people were granted refugee status. Some 2,600 cases were closed as people continued their journey.
Current asylum capacities in the region are inadequate and need strengthening. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated critical gaps in the management of mixed movements and sparked anti-refugee and migrant rhetoric throughout the region.
In addition, the region still hosts 5,961 persons at risk of statelessness. While the protection environment for them has improved in the past few years, the lack of personal documents, as well as difficulties in collecting comprehensive data on persons at risk of statelessness remain a challenge.

Key priorities  

In 2021, UNHCR will focus on: 
  1. Strengthening the capacity of States and other stakeholders to address mixed movements. It will seek to facilitate the identification of people in need of international protection by supporting the alignment of State asylum legislation and procedures with international standards and promoting their effective implementation through a quality assurance initiative.
  2. Advocating with States to adopt measures to eliminate statelessness, including providing legal assistance to people at risk of statelessness in the region.
  3. Supporting States in South Eastern Europe to identify and implement durable solutions, and in particular local integration, including for people displaced within the region. 

Strategy: Response and implementation 

In 2021, UNHCR will roll out its Strategy for Engagement in Mixed Movements in the Western Balkans. The strategy sets out UNHCR’s plan for operational and advocacy engagement aimed at supporting national authorities in the Western Balkans region in gradually shifting from a region of transit and humanitarian response to a region that offers both protection and solutions to third country nationals in need of international protection Through this shift, it also aims to contribute to a more efficient management of mixed movements at the border of the EU.
UNHCR will work with authorities to better identify and profile new arrivals and provide differentiated referral processes for those who might have international protection needs and those who do not. In addition, UNHCR will continue its strong collaboration with governments in the region to strengthen fair and efficient asylum adjudication and provide quality assurance support to the asylum authorities in line with their respective needs and varying stages of development of their asylum systems. In terms of solutions, the priority for 2021 will be the implementation of solution-related pledges made by Western Balkans States during the 1st Global Refugee Forum.
With regard to statelessness, UNHCR will continue to collaborate with countries in South Eastern Europe who have made great strides to eradicate statelessness in the region and pledged additional measures for the remaining caseload.

2021 Budget for South-Eastern Europe | USD

Operation Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
Pillar 3
Reintegration projects
Pillar 4
IDP projects
Albania 3,137,428143,739003,281,167
Bosnia and Herzegovina 9,703,638614,1120010,317,750
Kosovo (S/RES/1244 (1999)) 3,173,778437,548003,611,326
Montenegro 1,990,424248,528002,238,952
North Macedonia 3,769,729367,172004,136,901
Serbia 6,197,6282,647,118008,844,746
Total 27,972,6254,458,2170032,430,842

2021 Voluntary Contributions to South-Eastern Europe | USD

Earmarking / Donor Pillar 1
Refugee programme
Pillar 2
Stateless programme
South-Eastern Europe overall
European Union 1,747,24100 1,747,241
South-Eastern Europe overall subtotal 1,747,24100 1,747,241
UN Albania SDG Acceleration Fund 101,60100 101,601
UN Department of Political Affairs 266,853017,345 284,199
Albania subtotal 368,454017,345 385,799
Bosnia and Herzegovina
European Union 333,01100 333,011
Italy 18,66900 18,669
Private donors in Italy 007,897 7,897
United States of America 00500,000 500,000
Bosnia and Herzegovina subtotal 351,6800507,897 859,576
United States of America 00200,000 200,000
Kosovo subtotal 00200,000 200,000
Joint SDG Fund 00162,444 162,444
United States of America 00100,000 100,000
Montenegro subtotal 00262,444 262,444
Russian Federation 0100,0000 100,000
United States of America 00400,000 400,000
Serbia subtotal 0100,000400,000 500,000
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Migration MPTF 281,88100 281,881
United States of America 00200,000 200,000
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia subtotal 281,8810200,000 481,881
Total 2,749,256100,0001,587,686 4,436,943
Latest contributions
  • 16-APR-2021
  • 14-APR-2021
    Republic of Korea
  • 12-APR-2021
  • 09-APR-2021
    Republic of Korea
  • Lithuania
  • 06-APR-2021

    private donors

  • 05-APR-2021
  • 04-APR-2021

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

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  • United States of America

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  • 31-MAR-2021

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  • Germany

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  • Spain

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  • 30-MAR-2021

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  • Greece

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  • Republic of Korea

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  • Netherlands

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