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Switzerland responds to flooding in the Balkans

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Swiss Humanitarian Aid has allocated CHF 500,000 to assist those affected by the floods. Eight Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) experts left Switzerland on 20 May 2014 on deployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Serbia.

A million Bosnians – one quarter of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina – are thought to have been affected by the torrential rainfall and flooding in the Balkans. In response to the situation, Swiss Humanitarian Aid has decided to allocate CHF 500,000 to help the victims.

The cooperation office of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Serbia has provided the Serbian Red Cross with funding to launch emergency response operations. Also present in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the SDC is currently considering shifting the focus of some of its current programmes to help those affected by the flooding.

Swiss Humanitarian Aid has also decided to deploy eight experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) to the affected areas. On 20 May 2014, five experts travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina and three to Serbia. Among them are water and sanitation specialists and experts from the environment sector. Their mission focuses on public health, including water purification, to limit the risk of epidemics.

A Swiss Armed Forces helicopter has interrupted its KFOR mission in Kosovo and is currently providing assistance to the affected population in the stricken area.

Switzerland is closely following the situation in the Balkans with the help of its representations in Sarajevo and Belgrade and Swiss Humanitarian Aid in Bern. It has offered additional humanitarian assistance to the Bosnian and Serbian governments if required.