Irish Aid stocks being dispatched from UNHRD hub in Brindisi, Italy to Bosnia and Herzegovina to assist those affected by severe flooding.
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, has announced that Ireland will dispatch tents, blankets, and other vital supplies to assist flood victims in the Balkans.
The airlift, worth €220,000, is being sent from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy, where Irish Aid pre-positions supplies for use in global emergencies. This is further to the €50,000 in funding to World Vision announced last week to support flood relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Minister Costello said:
"We continue to be concerned about the impact of the floods on people across the Balkan region. Thousands of homes remain without water and electric power with many only accessible by boat. The World Food Programme has reported that some 600,000 people could ultimately be affected by the floods following the heaviest rains the region has witnessed in over a hundred years."
"We are committed to helping the people of the Balkans recover and rebuild from these devastating floods. We will partner with UN agencies in support of the relief effort to aid those affected. I have approved the release of essential supplies which will alleviate the suffering of those most affected and, over time, will help people return to normal life."
Minister of State for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, welcomed the announcement:
"Ireland is a long-standing partner of the countries of the Western Balkans and we will continue support them now as they try to recover from these devastating floods. Our additional assistance, announced today, will address the most immediate needs and help flood victims cope with the disaster."
Irish Aid maintains emergency stocks within the UN Humanitarian Response Depot network located in or close to crisis prone parts of the world. Through this network Irish Aid prepositions emergency stocks in Dubai, Ghana, Italy, Malaysia and Panama.
The EU is providing significant assistance to the worst-hit communities in both Serbia and Bosnia Herzegovina through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The EU has channelled humanitarian aid and equipment as well as EU Civil Protection teams, humanitarian experts and over 660 relief workers to assist flood victims.
28 May 2014
Note for editors:
The Simon Cumbers Media Fund promotes quality coverage of global development issues in the Irish media