Statement on the Floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council,
Vienna, May 22, 2014

The United States expresses heartfelt sympathy with the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia this week in the face of the worst floods seen there in many decades. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives, and our concerns and thoughts are with those who have lost homes and other possessions or who have been displaced or injured. We appreciate the quick action from the OSCE’s field missions in Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide assistance, and we commend the donations from the OSCE Charity fund to provide needed assistance in the region. The United States is providing rapid assistance to the region in several ways.

We are providing a grant of USD 150,000 to the Red Cross in Serbia, to help purchase search and rescue boats and other items needed for immediate relief.  To assist relief efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States has donated 26 rubber boats and has dispatched five trucks from U.S. Army Garrison Livorno in Italy to Banja Luka, containing USD 681,000 worth of emergency relief supplies. We are also sending experts to work with the BiH Mine Action Center to create a new map of displaced mines throughout the country. We are working with the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide rapid technical assistance and maintenance support to ensure their rescue helicopters can continue to provide needed assistance in the ongoing rescue efforts. We stand ready to provide further assistance as additional needs are identified, and we encourage other participating States to contribute to these ongoing efforts as they are able.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.