The scale of flooding that swept through the Balkans in the summer of 2014 was unprecedented in living memory. Despite the large mobilization of volunteers locally, the government ‘s need for assistance remained substantial. In support of immediate relief efforts, the JTI Foundation provided the Serbian Emergency Department with the necessary tools to manage the floods and start the recovery process, including de-watering pumps and accessories, and suits for technical interventions involving hazardous substances.
As the water levels fell, the affected population started its long journey to recovery, addressing both loss of habitat, and the livelihoods of those highly dependent on the agriculture, who were the most affected by the floods.
The JTI Foundation also partnered with the charitable foundation of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Philanthropy, to respond to the needs of people engaged in agriculture by providing greenhouses to four villages (Orid, Mrdjenovac, Miokus, and Orasac) in the rural area of Sabac. These villages were severely affected as 380 households (comprising 1,300 people) were submerged for more than 20 days.
40 families (120-130 people) have each received two greenhouses covering a surface of 200 square meters and are now used for agricultural production, stimulating the local economy through the creation of sustainable income generating activities.
In Sabac, the JTI Foundation helped the Housing Center, a non-governmental organization from Belgrade, reconstruct a local soup kitchen, badly damaged by floods. The reopened soup kitchen benefits more than 1,000 of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
This program has helped the local authorities restore access to reliable and free food to those whose needs intensified following the floods. The re-opening of the soup kitchen has allowed 450 families to receive meals five days a week, all-year round. The program was completed in June 2015.