The water dumped on to the region in three days, the equivalent of three months of rain, has affected a quarter of the 4 million population of Bosnia, with 500.000 people being forced to leave their homes.
The situation is “terrifying”, in words of the Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister and Club de Madrid Member Zlatko Lagumdžija: “The physical destruction is not less than the destruction caused by war”. During the conflict “many people lost everything. Today, again they have nothing”, Mr Lagumdžija has said.
In Serbia the devastation has been equally outrageous with more than 25.000 people evacuated and many more believed to have fled by their own means. A new flood from the River Sava is still menacing the country and the power plant that supplies energy to half of the Serbian population is in danger. Central and eastern parts of Croatia have also been seriously hit: the situation in the county of Vukovar-Syrmia is troublesome and about 15.000 people have been evacuated according to the Croatian Civil Protection Authorities.
In this situation of homes submerged in mud, villages destroyed and even landmines from the 19992-95 war dislodged because of hundreds of landslides, the Club de Madrid calls for the most immediate reaction from the international community to offer all the help needed in the Balkan region to face the biggest natural disaster in recent memory. Club de Madrid celebrates the quick reaction of the European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Center and the reaction of 14 member states in just a day and a half. However, much more assistance is needed with the urgency of now and a lot more will be needed in the future to overcome this dramatic situation that calls for an immediate and resolute action from the whole international community.
Signed: Club de Madrid, Democracy that delivers