After the heaviest rains in the Balkans in more than a century caused massive flooding killing more than fifty people and displacing tens of thousands more, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Teams are on the ground in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina assessing damage and coordinating with local partners. More than 930,000 people have been evacuated and up to 2 million people could be affected. The floods triggered over 4,000 landslides which prompted a landmine warning of over 120,000 unexploded ordinance.
International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Teams in the region include experts in logistics as well as water, sanitation and hygiene. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, International Medical Corps assisted with sandbagging reinforcements and water pumping in Orašje. In the Zenica wider area, the team found the Maglaj Health House and nearly all its equipment severely damaged. In Doboj, the health facility sustained major structural damage, as well as damage to five ambulances and loss of equipment. In Serbia, International Medical Corps’ team in Valjevo, the worst hit municipality, found homes and crops were destroyed and water supply systems suffered massive damage.
International Medical Corps is partnering with German humanitarian agency, Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen, or Wings of Help, which has donated more than $1.4 million in critically needed supplies to the Balkans flooding crisis. These lifesaving supplies are being distributed this week throughout the region to flood-affected populations with the support of the Red Cross. This “convoy of hope” is a continuation of the long-lasting partnership between International Medical Corps and Luftfahrt ohne Grenzen responding to humanitarian crises across the globe, including: the earthquake and cholera outbreak in Haiti; the 2010 floods in Pakistan; drought and famine in the Horn of Africa; the recent typhoon in the Philippines; and ongoing relief around the Syria crisis.
Established in 1984, International Medical Corps has worked in more than 70 countries around the world delivering more than $1.6 billion in health care programming and providing health worker training and humanitarian services. With a staff of more than 4,500 worldwide, International Medical Corps works alongside local communities in hard-hit, conflict areas to ensure that those affected receive both the tools and the skills needed to become their own First Responders.