Based on an international action plan for aging, the governments of Bosnia’s two entities have developed strategies on ageing in the process supported by the United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs and the Swiss Cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Both strategies plan to improve the living conditions of older persons by improving social and health protection, access to public services, especially in rural areas, promoting activism and volunteerism in local communities – including inter-generational support and cooperation, promoting life-long learning, and preventing violence, abuse and neglect against older persons.
This year, member states of the United Nations mark 15 years since the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted at the Second World Assembly on Ageing. The Plan has been a one-of-a-kind agenda for handling the issue of ageing in the 21st-century. Also, it has been a unique solution as the Ggvernments for the first time agreed to link questions of ageing to other frameworks for social and economic development and human rights. The focus of the Plan of Action has been on three priority areas: older persons and development; advancing health and well-being into old age; and ensuring enabling and supportive environments.
“The number of older persons in the country will double from current 15% by mid-century”
The Bosnian draft strategies will soon be presented by the Federation’s Ministry of Labor and Social Policy and Republika Srpska’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection to the entity governments. Doina Bologa, UNFPA Representative for Bosnia, said: “Although the development of entities’ social strategies on ageing has occurred in an environment of economic stagnation, pressures on social spending and rising migration, notable achievements have been reached in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We all need to persevere in addressing the needs of older persons, especially in light of statistical projections that the number of older persons in the country will double from current 15% by mid-century. The governments need to find a way to diminish the pressure that demographic changes put on health and social systems in the country and they need to provide support to all people at old age in order to achieve the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aiming to transform the world in which we live today”.
The United Nations Population Fund raises awareness about demographic shifts towards older populations and about the need to harness the opportunities and address the challenges of population ageing. UNFPA also supports research and data collection to provide a solid base for policies and planning, and makes sure ageing issues are integrated into national development programs and poverty reduction strategies.