In common with many other European nations, Bosnia and Herzegovina (usually referred to as just Bosnia) has relatively high standards of living, education and welfare. But after the devastating three–year Balkans War of 1992–1995, ethnic tensions remain and in recent times Bosnia’s population has suffered from devastating floods
Bosnia is still recovering from the 1992-1995 war which followed its declaration of independence and the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. The conflict left Bosnia’s infrastructure in tatters and about 2 million people – half its population – displaced.
Deep ethnic and political divisions have left many Muslims still fearing for their futures in some areas, symbolised by their reliance on outside help following the Balkans’ worst floods, in May and August 2014, in over a century. A state of emergency was declared in many areas as the floods affected nearly 2 million people, destroyed 100,000 homes and caused £1 billion of damage. They left communities struggling for shelter, livelihoods, health, water and sanitation facilitie
Flood help: In June 2014, Islamic Help – in partnership with Lewisham Mosque in London – delivered a consignment of pressure washers to hard-hit communities in the towns of Janja and Konjevic Polje. The two areas suffered heavily during the Balkans war and the Muslim population is still struggling to maintain its presence. The pressure washers were distributed for sharing by dozens of flood-affected households to help clean houses, barns and machinery, especially important to help maintain livelihoods. Islamic Help later provided help for schoolchildren, including the distribution of 50 school bags, as they prepared to resume education in flood-hit areas.
Iftars: During Ramadan 2014, Islamic Help held a series of iftars in Bosnia. Eight iftars at different locations provided 680 meals and a further 130 meals were delivered to the homes of the elderly, infirm and sick. The iftars were held at Sanski, Maglaj, Drinjaca, Prozor, Begov Han, Bosanski Samac, Janja and Zivinice. Home iftar meals were delivered in Maglaj and Drinjaca. The benefits of the project went far beyond just providing meals. It gave a deeper insight into the situation of the local communities and highlighted their needs for further assistance as they continue battling to maintain their presence in some areas.
In just 3 months in 2014, Islamic Help provided emergency aid and food to more than 1,000 beneficiaries in need in Bosnia.