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The lowest temperatures in decades and a blanket of heavy snow in parts of the Balkans, Greece, and Eastern Europe are causing dozens of deaths, power outages, and travel delays.
Authorities have blamed at least 73 deaths on the extreme weather, the coldest since 1963, including at least 15 people who froze to death in the Balkans this week -- four elderly men in Bosnia-Herzegovina, six people in Serbia, two homeless men in Kosovo, and an elderly woman and two homeless men in Macedonia.
The 2015 International Annual Report describes how SOS Children’s Villages around the world supported children and strengthened families and communities in 2015 through community-integrated responses in care, education, health and emergency services.
The 573 SOS Children’s Villages around the world in 2015 are described as ‘care and protection hubs’ for their local communities, as they provided a range of locally-tailored services to support vulnerable children.
The statistics for natural catastrophes for the first half of 2014 have been marked by pleasingly low levels of global claims. Overall economic losses of US$ 42bn and insured losses of US$ 17bn to the end of June were considerably below the average for the past ten years (US$ 95bn and US$ 25bn respectively). Thankfully, the number of deaths caused by natural catastrophes was also comparatively low. However, towards the end of the year the natural climate phenomenon El Niño may impact regions differently in terms of the number and intensity of weather extremes.
Balkans: On 13 May, cyclone Tamara hit the Balkans. Heavy rainfall resulted in extensive flooding in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia; 1.6 million, 1.5 million, and 38,000 people have been affected, respectively. In total, 81,879 people have been evacuated. Relief efforts are being hampered by landslides, damaged infrastructure, blocked roads, and blackouts.