For Immediate Release
Heavy rains that began in mid-May 2014 caused widespread flooding and landslides across western and southwestern Serbia, particularly in Grad Beograd, Kolubara, Mačva, and Morava districts. These rains—compounded by already-high river water levels due to floods in the eastern and southern regions two weeks prior—resulted in at least 16 deaths and flooded more than 300 homes. The floods also damaged public infrastructure, including railways and roads, and interrupted the power supply of approximately 300,000 people, according to international media.
On May 15, the Government of Serbia (GoS) declared a state of emergency and requested international assistance to conduct relief activities. GoS special response teams, the Serbian army, municipal fire-rescue brigades, and the Red Cross of Serbia reinforced river dams, evacuated more than 6,000 inhabitants from flood-affected areas, and provided other relief services to affected communities.
On May 16, U.S. Ambassador Michael D. Kirby exercised his disaster assistance authority. In response, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) provided $100,000 through USAID/Serbia to the Red Cross of Serbia to support the procurement and distribution of emergency relief commodities to flood-affected communities, including equipment to aid evacuation efforts.
On May 19 USAID/OFDA staff arrived in Belgrade to assess flood-affected areas and support coordination efforts, and on May 20 an additional $50,000 was provided to procure search and rescue boats and to further aid relief efforts.
Serbia is often prone to flooding due to seasonal rains. USAID/OFDA previously responded to floods in Serbia in 2005 and 2010.
Last updated: May 14, 2015