Round-up: Updates from Myanmar and Serbia

The Round-up offers a weekly sample of what our sister Red Cross Societies are working on around the world.
SERBIA: In a simple bakery in southern Serbia, 21 Red Cross employees and 70 trained volunteers work almost around the clock, seven days a week, providing bread for those most in need.  

It is this bakery which has been at the heart of Red Cross operations in Bujanovac since 2002, producing bread for school snacks, kindergartens, and mini markets.  And now, with the large influx of migrants and refugees in search of a better life in Europe crossing into Serbia, demand on the bakery has grown.

Staff and volunteers are now also providing bread for the food parcels which are being distributed to migrants and refugees at the nearby Presevo reception centre. They are churning out 7,000 pieces of bread daily.  The local Red Cross branch has been providing support to refugees as far back as the 1990s when people were fleeing the Balkan war. The past 15 years has seen the local poverty rate skyrocket, resulting in the Red Cross expanding their social programs for those in need, including operating a daily soup kitchen for 1,200 people.

MYANMAR: It has been two months since heavy seasonal rains and Cyclone Komen triggered severe floods in Myanmar. The floods have claimed 117 lives and affected over 1.6 million people in 12 of the country’s 14 states and regions. As the transition from emergency relief to longer term recovery continues, the Myanmar Red Cross Society and its network of volunteers is playing an important role in helping many families to move on with their lives.  

Red Cross volunteers have assisted with the evacuation of over 380,000 people from the flood-stricken areas. With support from IFRC and the ICRC, more than 1,400 Red Cross staff and volunteers were able to distribute essential relief items like hygiene kits, family kits, kitchen sets, blankets, shelter tool kits and tarpaulins to 74,000 people in the 12 flood affected regions.


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