On December 22, I visited Gorazde and Novo Gorazde to officially present $50,000 worth of flood recovery assistance provided by USAID. The local Red Cross offices will distribute the assistance to residents affected by the natural disaster. Fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured in the record flooding, but many families remain in temporary housing and some businesses are closed.
Short video clips from my visit give a glimpse of the damage.
The flood victims told me that although minor flooding from the Drina River was not unusual, no one could remember any event as severe as the recent flooding. Some houses were destroyed completely, while many others suffered severe damage. Yet many residents have already begun rebuilding.
The municipal authorities and Red Cross representatives of both communities told me that they were heartened that local residents, police and fire personnel, and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina had volunteered quick assistance to the two communities and to the flood victims. I was also impressed by the reports of cooperation and support between the two communities, which is a positive sign of reconciliation and healing. On behalf of the American people, I conveyed our sympathies to the flood victims and expressed the hope that the U.S. assistance will help them return to their normal lives as soon as possible.