Catastrophic flooding in the Balkans impacts 1 million people

Publication Date: 
May 29, 2014

Never before in 120 years of recordkeeping has the Balkan region experienced the amount of rainfall seen in the past few weeks. Entire villages are under water. Mud slides have wiped out homes, schools and other buildings. Dozens have been killed and hundreds of thousands are homeless.

In Bosnia, the destruction is being compared to the country’s devastating war that lasted from 1992 until 1995. In Serbia, the government declared three days of national mourning for the innocent lives lost and the surviving families with nothing left.

Fr. Pejo Orkic, the Salesian Provincial of Croatia, has issued a plea for help.

“We are frightened at the thought of what is to come. Most of the people have lost all their possessions and ordinary life will be very difficult,” he reports.

Fr. Pejo adds that high unemployment and a severe economic recession over the past four years has already taken a toll on the region. This latest disaster is further fueling the misery and suffering.

Our Salesian missionaries in the Balkans have joined forces to collect food and other essential supplies for distribution in the emergency centers. And we have opened up our schools for children and families in need of immediate shelter.

But much more help is needed. In the words of Fr. Pejo, “I am asking for your assistance to enable us to help those most seriously affected to return to their homes and resume a normal dignified life.”

Our mission is to provide immediate help to the victims of disaster and ensure they have the support they need to rebuild their shattered lives. With your kindness and generosity today, we can offer hope to thousands of children, families and communities that brighter days are ahead.

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