Record Rains Bring Deadly Flooding To Balkans

May 16, 2014

Elderly residents of the Serbian town of Obrenovac are evacuated from their flooded homes. Rising waters from historic flooding in Serbia and Bosnia have left entire towns submerged in water and accessible only by boat. IOCC is on the ground in Serbia and Bosnia working with relief partners to respond to the urgent needs of flood survivors. photo: Reuter/Marko Djurica
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — The worst flooding in more than 100 years has claimed the lives of five people in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, forced more than 7,000 people to evacuate and left thousands more stranded as flood waters cut off entire towns. The record flooding which was brought on by Cyclone Tamara on May 13, covers northern Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entire territory of Serbia, where waters continue to rise rapidly. Severe damage has occurred to power systems, drainage, water supply and sewage treatment systems, roads, bridges, and railroads. Significant agricultural and forest areas are also under water, and recently planted crops destroyed.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), which has had a humanitarian presence in the region since 1992, has staff on the ground in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina ready to assess the most urgent needs of the flood survivors as soon as some of the worst-affected areas are accessible. IOCC, an ACT Alliance member, is coordinating its efforts with Philanthropy, humanitarian organization of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and Church World Service.

IOCC anticipates that families in the affected areas will have immediate need for food parcels, as well as hygiene kits and emergency cleanup buckets to protect survivors from health and hygiene related problems that will emerge as soon as the waters begin to recede.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help the victims of disasters around the world, like the floods in Serbia and Bosnia, by making a financial gift to the Balkans Flood Relief Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.

ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $488 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries.

IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 140 churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy, and a member of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.–based secular and faith-based organizations working to improve the lives of the world's most poor and vulnerable populations. To learn more about IOCC, visit www.iocc.org.

Media contact: Rada K. Tierney, IOCC Media Relations, 443-823-3489, rtierney@iocc.org

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