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Floods in the Balkans

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Malteser International preparing emergency relief and rehabilitation

Cologne. Following the worst floods that hit the Balkans for over 120 years at the mid-May, Malteser International – in close cooperation with the Embassy of the Order of Malta to Bosnia and Hercegovina, Malteser Germany and international partner organizations - is preparing emergency relief measures for those most affected by the floods. Malteser International supports the flood relief in the Balkans with an initial donation of 25,000 Euros ($ 34,000).

Bosnia and Hercegovina: In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Malteser International and the Foreign Aid Service of Malteser Germany – in cooperation with the Order’s Ambassador to Bosnia and Hercegovina – will provide flood relief via the networks of Caritas and the Catholic Church. An assessment team will leave for Bosnia and Hercegovina in order to explore the needs on the ground and prepare the next steps. Among others, it is planned to reconstruct a soup kitchen and an ambulance in the northern city of Maglajwhich has been severely destroyed by the floods.

Serbia: In Serbia an assessment team of the Order’s Hungarian Charity service has already been on the ground, preparing emergency relief in Vojvodina together with the Order’s Serbian relief corps and the Catholic diocese of Zrenjanin for the most affected families, who have lost their entire goods and possessions.

For many years, Malteser Germany and its Foreign Aid Service supported rehabilitation and reconstruction in several countries in the Balkans after the end of the Balkan War in the 1990s. The strong links with the partners on the ground will provide a sound basis for Malteser International’s emergency relief and an efficient cooperation in favor of those most affected by the floods.

On May 16 and 17, the Balkan region was hit by torrential rain, making thousands of people homeless and killing at least 59 people. Whole cities and villages are still under water or mud, transport infrastructures have been destroyed, hampering the delivery of humanitarian goods. Besides, the region is still dangerous, as landmines and other legacies from the Balkan War are emerging with the flooding and landslides.