BRATISLAVA (May 21, 2014) — Habitat for Humanity plans to assist families affected by severe floods that have hit large areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Floods in both countries, believed to be the worst for the past 100 years, were caused by continuous rainfall and strong winds.
According to the European Office of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 40 people have lost their lives across Serbia and Bosnia – more victims are anticipated once the waters have receded. Around 500,000 people have had to be evacuated from their homes while a quarter of Bosnia’s four million people are without clean water. Many households are without electricity supplies. Additionally, several landslides took place damaging regional roads. Several bridges were destroyed and some villages have been cut off from the supplies. The evacuation of the people trapped by the floods is ongoing.
The government of Bosnia-Hercegovina has declared a day of mourning for all those who have died following the worst flooding for a century.
Habitat staff members are assessing the situation in Tuzla canton of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Macvanski region of Serbia and coordinating with local governments and partners on the disaster response operations. Habitat’s response efforts may include the distribution of clean-up and hygiene kits to help families make needed repairs to partially damaged homes. Based on funding availability, the longer-term response may also include construction assistance, distribution of materials and labor support through micro housing loans.
“We are meeting with the mayors in some of the worst-affected municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia to understand the need and assess the resources needed to help families rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Mihai Grigorean, disaster response specialist of Habitat for Humanity’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “We need to act fast, otherwise the families will face more suffering and will find themselves in a deeper crisis.”
Habitat’s ability to respond effectively to this disaster will require support from donors, corporate partners and other community organizations. Donations can be made at Habitat’s donation page.
About Habitat for Humanity International Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit www.habitat.org. ..