Switzerland allocates CHF 15 million to flood-damaged Western Balkans

Bern, Press release, 16.07.2014

In an effort to help alleviate the massive damage caused by the extreme flooding that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia in May this year, Switzerland has pledged approximately CHF 15 million at an international donor conference. The European Commission, France and Slovenia invited the international community to attend the donor conference in Brussels on 16 July.

In mid-May, roughly a third of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was submerged for several days. Extensive areas of Serbia, running from the north-west of the country to the south, were also under water. At the time, Switzerland provided emergency assistance, sending two rapid-response teams of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, deploying helicopters and providing assistance through local aid organisations, for a total value of CHF 0.8 million.

Switzerland has been actively involved in BiH and Serbia since the nineties, within the framework of transition assistance. Ongoing cooperation programmes in BiH have been particularly affected by the flood damage, and less so in Serbia.

In the circumstances, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will in the short term divert funding from reconstruction projects falling under cooperation with Eastern Europe. This measure is aiming, for example, to support programmes for local communities or to adapt development of urban infrastructure to actual needs. Additional disaster risk reduction measures are also to be included in other projects currently in the pipeline. Within the framework of the migration partnership between Switzerland and Serbia, the Federal Office for Migration is expanding an ongoing programme to improve living conditions for the Roma population.

The flooding cost the lives of 60 people and robbed tens of thousands of their livelihood. In BiH, private homes, public infrastructure and private businesses were hit especially hard by the damage. In Serbia, the flooding particularly affected the energy sector, other public infrastructure, private homes and agriculture.

The cost of the flooding in terms of damage and losses incurred in BiH and Serbia is estimated at roughly EUR 2 billion and EUR 1.5 billion respectively.

 


Further information:

SDC – Bosnia and Herzegovina
SDC – Serbia
SDC – Humanitarian Aid: Switzerland responds to the flooding in the Balkans
SECO – Bosnia and Herzegovina
SECO – Serbia


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research