World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN humanitarian chief rallies support for flood-hit Balkans

19 May 2014 –

UN humanitarian chief rallies support for flood-hit Balkan regions

Deeply concerned by the devastating floods in the Balkans – days of rainfall have reportedly submerged entire villages and triggered landslides across the region – the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator is rallying the international community to provide speedy assistance that can help save lives and put people on the road to recovery.

In a statement issued earlier today, Valerie Amos, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, expressed concern about the flooding that has struck Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

She has since dispatched a team of UN disaster assessment experts to the region, as the Organization's broader humanitarian response has swung in action.

The floods have so far claimed more than 35 lives and affected hundreds of thousands of people, she said. Reportedly the worst floods in the Balkans in decades, emergency responders fear that more rain could lead to further rises in water levels, additional storm surges and landslides.

Media reports suggest that Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have been affected by cyclone Tamara and have been experiencing extremely heavy rain, strong winds and low temperatures. On 13 May, continuous, heavy rainfall began, and the wider region, including Croatia, has recorded three months' worth of rain in three days

“In all three countries, the Government is leading the flood response, distributing food and other relief supplies, and providing emergency shelter. A state of emergency has been declared in Serbia and Bosnia, where tens of thousands of people have been evacuated,” said Ms. Amos in her statement.

Reporting that the UN and humanitarian partners have offered assistance to the authorities in the affected countries, Ms. Amos said that she has dispatched a UN Disaster Coordination and Assessment team to Serbia and life-saving supplies are on their way from Brindisi, where the Organization maintains a logistics base.

In addition, teams from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the UN Children's Fund, (UNICEF) the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are working with the authorities to help assess people's needs and provide food, clean water and sanitation support and debris removal.

“I welcome the speedy response by the national authorities and their partners and the support provided by neighbouring countries and other members of the international community, Mr. Amos said, adding: “We must do all we can to ensure that further loss of life is prevented and help people recover.”

Later in the day, WFP announced that it had sent a second batch of emergency relief items to Serbia. The shipment included water tanks, generators and inflatable boats provided by WFP and the Norwegian Government.

A further flight is scheduled today to Tuzla, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with tents and water containers and purification equipment also from the Norwegian Government.

WFP says that it will launch a $1.5 million operation to respond to immediate humanitarian needs upon a request from the Government of Serbia and in coordination with the authorities there and other UN organizations on the ground.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, where floods have exceeded emergency levels in the north, WFP is planning to send life-saving food assistance to 150,000 of the most vulnerable flood-affected people.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Connie Lawn: Middle East Turmoil

There is always turmoil in the Mid East but at this time three major developments have broken at the same time. In Saudi Arabia 91 year old King Abdullah has died... In Yemen, the President and his top advisors have resigned. More>>

ALSO:

Russia Supports Indonesia`s Possible Move To Buy Sukhoi 35

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Russian government supports Indonesias wish to buy the multipurpose fighter jet Sukhoi 35 to enhance the countrys air force. More>>

Economy: International Monetary Fund Downgrade Global Growth Forecast

20 January 2015 – Despite a sharp decline in oil prices, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest economic outlook today lowered growth expectations for this year and the next for most countries due to slowdown in investment, and urged governments ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Rights Expert Cancels Visit To Palestinian Territory

Israel’s lack of cooperation leads to cancelled visit by UN rights expert to the occupied Palestinian territory More>>

Pentagon To Deploy 400 Troops To Train Syrian Rebels

Rebel fighters take positions behind sand barricades at al-Breij frontline, after what they said was an advance by them in al-Manasher and al-Majbal areas, where forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad were stationed, in Aleppo January 5, 2015. ... More>>

ALSO:

U.S. Eases Sanctions On Export Of Tech To Cuba

Washington — Today, the Department of Treasury and Department of Commerce officially released the anticipated changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) , reforms announced last year by President ... More>>

Increased Gold Demand Following Shock SNB Move

Gold surged in dollars, pounds and especially euros yesterday after the Swiss Natonal Bank (SNB) caused turmoil in markets. Spot gold surged $30.50 or 2.48% to $1,258.50 per ounce and gold in euro terms rose by 4 per cent from EUR 1,044 to over EUR 1,085 ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news