Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Floods Emergency appeal n° MDRBA009 Operations update n° 3

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Situation Report
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Summary of major changes made to the emergency plan of action:

An appeal of CHF 4,522,2351 was initially launched on 15 May 2014 with the start-up funding of CHF 334,013 allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to enable the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) to support preparedness activities for 40,000 people (10,000 households) and provide basic emergency relief items, psycho-social assistance and cash transfers as mode of assistance for shelter to those affected by the floods.

A revision of the Emergency Appeal, effected in October 2014, was seeking to support an additional 17,505 beneficiaries for the next seven months with the main concern being the approaching cold season that was expected to worsen the conditions of beneficiaries, requiring further support for the repair of houses and preparations for winter.

This operation update reflects the new activities under this appeal which aim at providing beneficiaries who lost their means of making a living with items required to secure their necessities. The sustainable approach aims at recovering from the damages accumulated along the floods and enhancing their well-being and that of the future generations without undermining the natural environment or resource base.

The timeframe of the operation is hereby extended for another five months until 30 September 2015 to finalize the implementation of the activities.

The main changes to the activities in the Emergency Appeal include the following elements:

1) The RCSBiH response emergency appeal will target less beneficiaries following continuous needs assessments and focusing on the most vulnerable communities and the needs covered by other humanitarian organization. The Update of the Emergency Plan of Action was done taking into consideration the various bilateral contributions received by RCSBiH.

2) The RCSBiH will maintain its efforts to provide assistance to the affected population, in the range of 1,000 households, through a choice of means of livelihoods for selected beneficiaries hit by the floods, located in rural areas and with access to agricultural land. The assistance shall concentrate on providing a choice among equipment for rural development and livestock, up to a defined value. Such an approach shall help the beneficiaries to choose what they find most needed according to their individual circumstances and losses determined by the floods, aiming at the sustainability of rural family livelihoods.

3) The programming shall still focus on disaster preparedness of the RCSBiH due to the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina faces recurrent natural disasters.

Summary

Following the changing humanitarian landscape in the country and the needs of the beneficiaries, a revised Emergency Appeal was launched in October 2014. The Appeal sought CHF 3.9 million to enable the IFRC Secretariat to support the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) to deliver assistance and support to a total of some 57,500 people until April 2015. The revised appeal consisted of programme components which aimed to assist with the normalization of people’s lives in the flood affected areas and communities.

During the reporting period the activities of the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBiH) focused on emergency rehabilitation of at least one room per family dwelling (home) for the most vulnerable and marginalized people through a cash transfer programme. To date, 2,020 family dwellings2 have been supported through the cash transfer programme. Furthermore, the RCSBiH began planning for the disaster preparedness programme component. Investing in disaster preparedness before a disaster occurs will reduce the need for humanitarian action in future.

The scope of the latest disaster required the mobilization of all National Society resources and the use of all available stocks of emergency supplies. The staff and volunteers were working around the clock to respond to the flood emergency. The RCSBiH`s response operation was supported by 4,842 volunteers, 200 staff and 154 branches.

Some of the main forms of support included first aid assistance and the distribution of food and non-food items. The RCSBiH collected and distributed relief supplies domestically in the value of approximately CHF 2.1 million.

Moreover, the RCSBiH focused on the provision of psychosocial support, water & sanitation and hygiene promotion. As part of its water and sanitation activities, the National Society carried out the distribution of water purification tablets during its well cleaning, water testing and hygiene promotion campaigns. The National Society was implementing a cash transfer programme in eight affected municipalities with an aim to support the beneficiaries in the refurbishment of at least one room per one home. The Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina is also providing psychosocial support through support groups, youth centres, visits to schools, households and communities.