Divac Foundation and USAID Bolster Serbian Response to European Migrant Crisis

Divac Foundation and USAID Bolster Serbian Response to European Migrant Crisis
Project launch press conference in Belgrade
USAID Serbia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Belgrade – On April 6, the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), launched an 18-month, $700.000 project to support and improve capabilities of select local communities, volunteer organizations, and civil society organizations. The project is a direct response to the current European migration crisis. The project will also help municipalities to develop strategies and structures to respond to future man-made and natural crises. 

“Each of the partner municipalities - Belgrade, Loznica, Lajkovac, Tutin, Sjenica, Šid, Subotica, Dimitrovgrad and Preševo, will receive tailor-made crisis response training. Through a national public awareness campaign to be launched in May, we hope to generate a greater level of empathy and understanding among Serbian citizens for the refugees' plight,“ said Ana Divac.

“One of the few bright spots in this human tragedy has been the consistent compassion the Serbian people have shown to refugees. I am deeply proud today to support Serbia’s ongoing humanitarian response to the refugee crisis, and to support the Divac Foundation’s efforts to help Serbia communities respond to the crisis effectively,” said USAID’s Mission Director Azza El-Abd.

The Foundation organizes volunteers who are supporting refugees throughout the country. “I would like to thank USAID and the Divac Foundation for this initiative on behalf of the Serbian Government. The refugee crisis was an opportunity for our society to mobilize. It is important that we continue raising our resilience to any kind of crisis or disaster,” said Kori Udovički, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Self-government

Vladimir Cucić, Serbian Commissioner for Refugees noted that he attended some of the disaster response trainings organized by USAID in close to 50 municipalities during 2006-2007. “Those trained, were able to effectively respond to the flood crisis two years later, while some of them were our partners in setting up transition centers. I am grateful to USAID for proving us the “know-how” and proud that the Divac Foundation remains our trusted partner,” said Mr. Cucić.