29 May 2014 I St Albans, United Kingdom [Miroslav Pujic, tedNEWS] Severe flooding across Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia has prompted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, and caused more than 50 deaths and thousands of homes destroyed. Concerns have been expressed by Bosnia and Serbia over the possibility of disease being spread by the multitude of dead animals which are starting to rot in the rising temperatures.
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia have acted quickly to be among the first to provide drinking water, food, clothes and hygiene materials, as well as helping residents to clean up their villages and cities.
ADRA-Croatia was among the first to send humanitarian help to Serbia, Bosnia and Eastern Croatia once it had heard about the devastating effects of the heaviest rain and worst floods since records began 120 years ago. A total of 107 tons of water, food, and clothes were distributed: 30 tones to Serbia, 37 tones to Bosnia and 40 tones to Eastern Croatia. The next project is to help the local people in cleaning their communities and helping them to get their life back to normal. According to Ileana Radojević, ADRA-Croatia Director, this is going to be a hard and long process to rebuild the lives of people who have lost everything.
ADRA-Serbia implemented an early response relief project within the first seven days following the declaration of the national state of emergency. In co-ordination with the Serbian Red Cross, over 640 food relief packages were distributed to families from Obrenovac, Paraćin, Šabac and Ub, that had been affected by the floods. A total of 2,400 beneficiaries were helped in this way.
In the next phase of the relief effort, ADRA-Serbia, in conjunction with the coordinating body of the Serbian Red Cross and the leaders and members of the local emergency co-ordination board, will be involved by clearing up the mud and debris from roads and houses that have been flooded; cleaning and disinfecting and drying the flooded houses and supporting facilities; providing basic Non-Food Items (NFIs) for households; and providing revolving funds for alternative sources of livelihoods and income generation due to the destruction of the major portion of the agricultural land, farming activities and other trades.
“To be honest, we are in the middle of a humanitarian hysteria at the moment. Everyone wants to help each other, which is good! However, this will abate and then the real needs of those affected will begin to emerge, such as psychological help, support for rebuilding people’s houses and livelihoods and, most importantly, hope for their future,” says Igor Mitrović, ADRA-Serbia Director. “ADRA Serbia will do its best to be there for these people during this time. We will partner with governmental and civil organisations to ensure long-term support, especially to those in the marginalized parts of Serbia. Our moto is Taking care of all our people,” concludes Mitrović.
ADRA-Bosnia & Herzegovina was very busy providing humanitarian aid to those in great need. With the help of 40 volunteers, more than 4,000 parcels with food, water and hygiene materials were distributed.
“Our focus is mainly on the city of Doboj and we have received 250 drying machines that will dry houses for poor people as well as some important public institutions,” says Božidar Mihajlović, ADRA–BiH Director. “We plan a project of sanitation and disinfection of the city and surrounding fields with effective microorganisms. We are also planning several volunteer actions where 100 volunteers from Sarajevo and Banjaluka will come to help in cleaning the city of Doboj. We will invite all the experts who will make plans, not just for the rebuilding of the city, but for making a vision for a better and more beautiful Doboj then it has ever been. This has been a catastrophe but it is also an opportunity for a new future,” concludes Mihajlović.
Please continue to pray for those people who are suffering and those who have lost their loved ones. If you are willing to help rebuild destroyed churches and homes in this region and help people who are in need, please contact Steve Cooper, ADRA-TE Director, by email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more photos, please click on the following: ADRA Croatia, ADRA Serbia. [tedNEWS]
tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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