Montenegro: Severe Snowstorms Leave Thousands Stranded, ADRA Responds
SILVER SPRING, Md. – Unrelenting snowstorms have overwhelmed the Southeastern European nation of Montenegro, paralyzing traffic and leaving travelers stranded on roadways. Many homes have endured significant snow-related damages, causing thousands to have no access to basic necessities. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is responding to the emergency through distributing food and basic non-food items (NFIs) to desperate families.
ADRA Montenegro is procuring supplies for their distribution that will go to 175 families (approximately 800 people) affected by the severe snowstorms in the towns of Berane and Kolasin. These towns are home to refugee settlements, a large population of elderly, and Roma families. Each family will receive a hygiene parcel containing wash powder, feminine supplies, soaps, toothpaste, and brushes. In addition each family will receive a 14-day ration of food supplies comprised of rice, dried pasta, flour, vegetable oil, salt, sugar, and firewood.
The intense snowstorms began in early February lasting an entire week before compelling local authorities to declare a state of emergency. Countryside towns are reported to be cutoff from main roads leaving an estimated 45,000 people isolated, unable to travel, and in some cases unreachable to receive relief aid due to large snow banks.
ADRA is working with the local Red Cross to coordinate the distribution of the food and hygiene parcels, along with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and local authorities in order to prevent duplication to beneficiaries. A central distribution point will be established for beneficiaries to collect relief aid, however, in the event beneficiaries are unable to travel due to weather conditions, home deliveries will be coordinated to ensure aid assistance is received.
ADRA Montenegro, the Regional ADRA office, and ADRA International have jointly funded this emergency response in the amount of $20,000.