Balkans floods: from relief to recovery

More than 3 million people across Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia were affected by the worst flooding in 120 years. Three months of rain fell in three days causing rivers to break their banks, wrecking homes as well as schools, business, and health clinics. Tens of thousands of people had to be evacuated from their homes due to flooding and landslides, many rescued by helicopter or boats.  

One month later, people have started to return home. The water has receded in most places and people are trying to get back to their normal lives. Disinfection is now happening in many homes and businesses affected by flooding, and the emergency phase is now moving into recovery. Estimates place the damage in the billions of euros.  

To date, there have been no major health concerns due to the floods. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, landmine markings that were moved due to the floods remains a concern. There are also still people who remain in evacuation centres who cannot yet go home. Although most people have access to water, in many areas still, the water is not potable.

National Red Cross Societies continue to assist people living in shelters or with host families, distribute food, hygiene kits and cleaning products. As the immediate emergency phase shifts to recovery, the Red Cross will be looking at ways in which to support the most vulnerable people to return to their homes and to reestablish livelihoods that may have been affected by the floods.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched two appeals, one for Serbia and one for Bosnia and Herzegovina, to support the assistance provided by the National Societies to those most affected.

Latest stories

  Flood-struck families urgently make repairs as they face into winter 15 August 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  Croatian Red Cross responding to the worst natural disaster in living memory 14 July 2014
  Neighbouring Red Cross societies come together to help each other after Balkan floods
12 June 2014
  One month later, an elementary school is still home 12 June 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Life goes on – so does the washing machine

12 June 2014



Volunteers provide assistance to Roma communities after the floods

4 June 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina 


Red Cross youth mobilize to support people affect by floods

30 May 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  Flooding brings back memories of civil war 30 May 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  Families waiting to return to their homes following floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina 30 May 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  The Balkans: Red Cross launches appeals for recovery stage funds 28 May 2014
  Volunteers provide food, shelter and psychosocial support in the aftermath of floods 23 May 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  Serbia: Returning money found in items donated for flood assistance 22 May 2014

Volunteer: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

22 May 2014

  The Balkans: Worst floods in a century continue to cause havoc 18 May 2014



Appeals have been launched for Serbia and for Bosnia and Herzogovina.

Facts and figures


120,000 households have been affected

31,873 people have been evacuated

215 staff are engaged in the response

3,311 volunteers have been mobilized

Bosnia and Herzegovina

100,000 (estimated) affected by floods and landslides

3,000 landslides reported

40,000 people evacuated from their homes

5,000 volunteers and 250 staff on active duty


15,000 people evacuated from their homes

2,732 in Red Cross emergency accommodation

500 volunteers from 130 branches active in response

People we help

Learn about the families that the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been assisting following these floods:
Beneficiary profile: Emin
Emin, a retiree, had to evacuate his home when floods swept through Maglaj in May of this year
Beneficiary profile: Jela
Jela worked hard for many years to build her home in Brčko. The floodwaters swept almost everything away.
Beneficiary profile: Hajdar
Hajdar and his family woke at 3 am one night in in May to the sound of rushing water; floods had arrived in Janja.
Beneficiary profile: Mina
Mina is 65 years old. When the floods came to Brčko district in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she lost almost everything.