Transparency Urged in Bosnia Humanitarian Aid

Author : Mircea Birca | Friday, May 30, 2014
Posted in category Balkans, Bosnia Hertegovina
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As humanitarian help reaches Bosnian flood zones from home and abroad, concerns are growing about whether the aid will be distributed in a transparent fashion.

As humanitarian aid starts coming to Bosnia from home and abroad, in food, other supplies and cash, suspicions about whether it will all be distributed in a transparent fashion have grown.

The daily Oslobodjenje newspaper reported on May 29 that around 9 million euro in donations had now been gathered along with other forms of humanitarian help.

The watchdog organisation Transparency International in Bosnia has opened a free phone line for people to report claims of corruption and irregularities in the distribution of humanitarian help, after saying it had heard complaints.

Bosnia’s anti-corruption network of organizations, the ACCOUNT, is also engaged in gathering reports and complaints of citizens related to irregularities in the distribution of humanitarian aid.

The floods in Bosnia, which started on May 16, affected about one-fifth of the country’s territory. The authorities said that, according to still incomplete data, almost 20,000 homes were flooded and that over 40,000 people were evacuated from their homes.

The Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees said it would seek displaced persons status for around 2,600 families left with no place to live after their homes were almost destroyed.

Vjekoslav Bevanda, the Prime Minister, said that around 950,000 people had been forced to leave their homes at some point during the floods, and that more than 100,000 houses and 230 schools and hospitals had sustained damage of some kind.

More exact data and estimates of the damage have yet to be made, as they will have to include the damage done to land and agriculture as well.

Bosnia has received help with evacuations, and in other ways, from 29 countries and 14 international and national organizations since the floods started on May 16.

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