Mercy Corps Prepares For Expansion of Serbia Program

October 6, 2000

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    Mercy Corps' work in Serbia reaches families that fled during the Kosovo crisis as well as disadvantaged Serbian families that have been living in extreme poverty over the last 10 years. Photo: Mercy Corps Photo:

Mercy Corps Belgrade prepares to expand its aid in response to the dramatic changes occurring in Serbia.

“It’s imperative that we stay, we listen and that we help those whose lives have been torn apart through no fault of their own,” explained Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer. “The people of Yugoslavia have spoken. Though tensions remain high, Mercy Corps’ role is to help those families pull through the harsh winter months ahead.”

The changes taking place in Serbia create an unprecedented opportunity for the international community to embrace and support the expressed will for a democratic and prosperous future. Mercy Corps is already working with more than 17 local non-governmental agencies to assist over 10,000 vulnerable families, and is well-established to assist people in Serbia with the humanitarian assistance they need to pull through the winter months ahead and to lay foundations for a democratic future. To expand these programs in Serbia, Mercy Corps is accepting contributions to its Balkans Fund.

Serbia has been facing a grave humanitarian crisis over the past several years, which has been aggravated by ongoing conflict, 10 years of economic sanctions, a collapsing economy and a heavy burden of hosting refugees and displaced persons from Kosovo and around the region. Mercy Corps' work in Serbia reaches families that fled during the Kosovo crisis as well as disadvantaged Serbian families that have been living in extreme poverty over the last 10 years.

In the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Mercy Corps provides credit to small businesses, health care to mothers and children and training for women. Projects also include distribution of food and supplies and an integrated rural recovery program that supports economic development. Mercy Corps' activities promote peace and reconciliation among all ethnic and religious groups.

Since 1993, Mercy Corps has provided humanitarian assistance to war-affected populations and helped revitalize
economic and social structures throughout the former Yugoslavia. Mercy Corps provides effective relief assistance such as food and medical care, and the agency works with local structures to solve root causes, such as economic development, physical reconstruction and democratic institution-building. Almost 1 million people have directly benefited from Mercy Corps' work in the region. Your contribution to the Balkans Fund will directly support the humanitarian needs and the social and economic recovery of the region.