Nearly four weeks following massive flooding that killed more than fifty people and displaced tens of thousands more, International Medical Corps teams are on the ground in the Balkans delivering critical supplies, repairing damaged infrastructure, assessing ongoing health needs and working with local authorities and international partners to support recovery efforts.
The heaviest rains in more than a century sparked floods across Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, leading to the evacuations of more than 930,000 people. More than two million people have been affected. The UN estimates that immediate humanitarian needs total $153 million.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), International Medical Corps remains the only nongovernmental organization primarily focused on health recovery efforts. The teams’ assessment found that over half of the surveyed health facilities have sustained damage to infrastructure and essential medical equipment. The team has shared its assessment data with helath authorities, as well as WHOP and continue sto advocate for support of these damaged facilities. International Medical Corps has partnered with Luftfahart Ohne Grenzen (Wings of Help) and the Red Cross BiH to distribute food to flood-affected areas. Additionally, International Medical Corps will support a web campaign to promote health and hygiene messaging as standing water can contribute to the prevalence of waterborne and communicable diseases.
In Serbia, International Medical Corps’ teams will distribute seven tons of organic baby food, donated by Wings of Help via the Red Cross, to flood-affected populations. Teams continue to partner with a local organization to support households affected by the flooding, particularly those in need of essential household items such as blankets, buckets, soap and cooking items and agricultural products such seeds and animal feed. International Medical Corps in Serbia is coordinating efforts with other international organizations and local stakeholders.
International Medical Corps sent an additional shipment of organic baby food to flooded areas in Croatia.
International Medical Corps, which has offices in Split, Croatia, first deployed to the Balkans in 1993 in response to war and ethnic cleansing, establishing emergency medicine training, ambulance systems, mobile clinics and mental health programs. Likewise during the Kosovo conflict, the organization set up operations in Kosovo, as well as in neighboring Macedonia and Albania.