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International agencies appeal for aid to flood-ravaged Balkans

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 21.05.2014 13:59
Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) has launched an appeal for aid to sent to the Balkans, where at least 26 have died in the worst floods on record in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia.

A man uses a boat to leave with his pigs the flooded area in the city of Orasje, 250 km from the capital of Bosnia, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 20 May 2014. A state of emergency has been declared in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to severe floods caused by rain falling for several days. Thousands of people in Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia were evacuated late 19 and early 20 May 2014 as rising floodwaters swallowed homes and farmland after last week's record rains: photo - EPA/FEHIM DEMIR

The Red Cross reports that in the Serbian town of Obrenovac at least 13 bodies have been recovered and officials in Bosnia-Herzegovina said 13 people had died there this week after three months of rain fell in three days.

“Our condolences to those affected by devastating floods in Bosnia and Hercegovina and Serbia,” Poland's foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski has tweeted.

Volunteers help in one of the shelters for flood victims in Belgrade, Serbia, 20 May: photo - EPA/KOCA SULEJMANOVIC

The PAH organisation has said in a statement that thousands of people are in need of immediate assistance in the form of food, drinking water and adequate sanitation, shelter and basic necessities of life, including clothes, cleaning utensils, bedding and furniture after homes were washed away in the floods.

Poland has escaped the worst of the flooding, though the River Vistula rose to emergency levels on Tuesday.

“Currently, Poland is itself plagued by flooding and remembers the tragic floods in the 1990s, when it received aid from many countries. Therefore, in solidarity, we should assist in this tragedy in one of the poorest countries in Europe,” Polish Humanitarian Action says.

Though heavy rainfall subsided in the region on Monday, the Serbian capital of Belgrade sits at the coming together of the Sava and Danube rivers, with flood levels in the city expected to rise through Thursday, (pg)

tags: Serbia
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