The dramatic flood disaster in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia has claimed more than 40 lives to date. Hundreds of thousands of people have had to be evacuated. Tens of thousands have lost their homes and an equal number are still without electricity or water. In the light of the ongoing difficult situation, Foreign Minister Steinmeier decided on Wednesday (21 May) to increase Germany’s aid for the flood victims in South-Eastern Europe to one million euros.
The situation of people in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as other areas hit by the flood disaster continues to be dramatic. No improvement is in sight at present: water levels in the Save, Drina, Danube and other rivers in the region are the highest since records began.
German aid for the flood victims increased
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier initially pledged aid for the region affected on Saturday (17 May): “Germany has offered assistance (...). Experts from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) have already arrived in Serbia. Further aid measures are being coordinated.”
The Federal Foreign Office first of all made available 350,000 euros for emergency flood measures. On Wednesday (21 May) the assistance was increased by 650,000 euros to a total of one million euros. The funds are going to the Federal Agency for Technical Relief as well as other relief organisations providing emergency assistance on the ground in the disaster areas.
Steinmeier: Aid is European solidarity in action
Thousands of emergency services personnel and volunteers are still working around the clock to improve flood defences. They are reinforcing dykes with sandbags along stretches of the rivers at particular risk.
Experts from the state‑owned Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) are assisting in the fight against the flooding. On Sunday (18 May), THW staff began operating the first large‑scale pump in the Serbian region Kolubara. This machine can pump out up to 25,000 litres of water per minute from the flooded areas.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier stated on Monday (19 May): “It is good that the Federal Agency for Technical Relief has provided crucial assistance swiftly and professionally to people affected by this major flood disaster. That is European solidarity in action.”
Since Monday, a further THW team has been in action in Orasje in northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, a town hit particularly hard, where it is helping people combat the flooding. The German Ambassadors in the region are in close contact with the authorities and are coordinating German aid on the ground.