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News Code: 1111

 

Muslims Rush for Bosnia Relief

Moved by images of destruction and death that have hit Bosnia after the heaviest rain and worst floods since records began 120 years ago, world Muslims have rushed to offer help for civilians, urging donations to the devastated country.
 
“Islamic Relief, which has been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina for over 20 years, is mobilizing an emergency response,” Islamic Relief said in a statement on its website appealing for donations.
“We plan to provide basic items such as water, food, clothing and power generators to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable families.”
Three months' worth of rain fell on the region in three days last week, creating the worst floods since records began 120 years ago.
Thousands of people crammed into boats and army trucks have fled their homes in Bosnia and Serbia after record rainfall turned the Sava river into a deadly torrent and caused the worst floods in more than a century.
“The latest reports indicate that more than 40 per cent of Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently flooded – the worst flooding since records began 120 years ago. It is not yet known how many homes have been lost or how many thousands of families are without electricity, water and food,” Islamic Relief said.
“Around 600 orphaned children sponsored by Islamic Relief are known to be in areas affected by the unfolding crisis, with strong winds and rain making rescue efforts particularly challenging.”
According to Admir Malagic, a spokesman for Bosnia's security ministry, about one million people lived in the affected area, making up more than a quarter of the country’s population.
“Bosnia is facing a horrible catastrophe,” Bakir Izetbegovic, chairman of that country’s three-member presidency, told reporters while surveying the damage in the Maglaj, beside the swollen Bosna River, The Globe & Mail reported.
“We are still not fully aware of the actual dimensions of the catastrophe.”
Turkey’s Helping Hand
Long with Islamic Relief, the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) has sent two shipments of humanitarian aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On Saturday, the first Turkish aid convoy delivered food packages, blankets and boots to the residents of Maglaj, a town 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, that was severely hit by the flooding.
The second TİKA convoy also departed from Sarajevo on Saturday to deliver 32,000 cans of food, 15 tons of flour, fuel, cleaning materials and generators to flood victims in Zeljezno Polje in central Bosnia,
Turkey's ambassador in Sarajevo, Ahmet Yıldız, also reportedly went to flood-hit Maglaj to assess the situation.
Bosnia's demining agency said residents around the towns of Doboj, Maglaj and Olovo – which saw fierce fighting during the war in the 1990s – should be particularly wary.
Twenty of the 27 deaths recorded in Bosnia occurred in Doboj while on the other side of the Sava river, in Serbia, at least 16 bodies were found.
"Unfortunately there are estimates that the death toll will be higher," prime minister Aleksandar Vucic told Reuters.
The rain has also caused nearly 300 landslides in Bosnia, burying dozens of houses and cars and further complicating relief efforts.
Bosnia, a small country on the Balkan Peninsula, is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples": mainly Muslim Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.
Out of Bosnia and Herzegovina's nearly 4 million population, some 40 percent are Muslims, 31 percent Orthodox Christians and 10 percent Catholics.
Source: On Islam