Last update: 20/09/2016

Cooperative for ethical finance: support and aid to the people in flooded areas

Monday, 28 July, 2014

Dear friends and colleagues, members of FEBEA,

as you might know, in the months of May and June of 2014, catastrophic floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia have devastated large swaths of territory, by destroying and damaging thousands of homes, commercial buildings and agricultural areas. According to the estimates of Croatian Ministry of Agriculture, only on the areas of East Posavina flooded agricultural area amounts to 7.854,12 ha.  Flooded areas in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are much larger (9.100 km2 and 13.200 km2 respectively). 

It is estimated that over 3 million people have been directly or indirectly affected by the floods. The consequences will have a long-term impact on the socio-economic growth of all three countries and may significantly influence their ability to develop or consolidate their reforms agenda.

Cooperative for ethical finance (ebank) was from the first day on disposal offering help of any kind in accordance with its capabilities and resources. However because of the large number of organizations specialized for the disaster contingency activities, large media coverage and involvement of various international, national and local organizations that have mobilized their resources in the first weeks of the disaster, it was estimated that at that moment any involvement would have been counterproductive and inefficient so we decided to wait with our actions until the normalization of the situation.

On June 24th, after water receded and media attention subsided, we managed to get the permit and have visited worst affected areas in Croatia - municipalities of Gunja, Vrbanja and Drenovci. There we had meetings with mayors of all municipalities, leaders of local action group (LAG Šumanovac) and local development agencies as well as with many local entrepreneurs and citizens. We noticed total lack of coordination from aid and government agencies and total despair of many people feeling abandoned and depressed.

Photos from the visit: http://images.ebanka.eu/index.php?/category/2

That's why we decided to act quickly and try to start our own programme of support to the flooded areas by the organization of a volunteering camp in which members of the cooperative will be working together with people on the cleanup and recovery, will be able to provide them most necessary aid and directly asses needs for future steps.

Volunteering camp was held from July 9th to 14th and was very successful. Several tons of aid consisted of individually chosen specific items had been distributed directly to the people in need, about 40 volunteers have managed to help about 100 families by putting around 2.000 hours of work in the cleanup and reconstruction tasks of all kinds and what is probably most important, volunteers managed to return hope and believe that they are not alone to many people through dialogue, discussions, lectures and entertainment activities in the evenings.

Photos from the volunteering camp: http://images.ebanka.eu/index.php?/category/3

However, situation is still far from good and any possible help is still needed and is becoming more and more important with every passing day. Winter period is nearing and it's absolutely necessary to provide any possible help in enabling people to return to their homes and work on the reconstruction of their homes and prepare them for the winter. While government discusses big projects for reconstruction of houses and public buildings, there are thousands small things that people desperately need but nobody is taking care of it. For example, many elderly people are literally hungry because they have no transport means to get to the location of field kitchen which is located on one spot, several kilometres away from the edge of the village. To do any shopping or bank transaction, people need to go to the 30km far city of Županja and there is only one very expensive bus connection per day doing this journey. There is lack of food, cleaning materials, tools, work equipment, fodder, tents, clothes, water cans, refrigerators, washing machines, heaters for drying walls in the house, etc. Entrepreneurs are lacking machines to start at least some small part of their activities.

Cooperative for ethical finance has developed a network of partners on the field that are able to monitor and detect individual needs, report them to the Cooperative and distribute purchased items directly to individuals needing them. We're also planning to personally monitor progress and developments and visit affected areas at least once every two weeks and organize new volunteer camps in the future.

Since our resources are still limited and we're working hard on the project of setting up an ethical bank in Croatia, we are asking you for help in acquiring more funds for the recovery areas. We have opened a separate bank account for this cause and all funds transferred to this account will be used transparently for direct support and aid to the people in flooded areas of East Slavonia part of Croatia and Brčko District (neighbouring part of Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Bank account data:

Account holder: Zadruga za eticno financiranje (Cooperative for ethical finance), Mesnicka 15A, Zagreb

Account number (IBAN): HR3024840081500188811

SWIFT/BIC: RZBHHR2X

Name of the bank: Privredna banka Zagreb d.d.

At the end of the action, a comprehensive report will be created with all details about funds spent. 

All your help will be much appreciated.

 

Goran Jeras

Cooperative for Ethical Finance

 

For any further information please contact gjeras@ebanka.eu