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Activists Launch Online Platform for Coordination of Aid for Flood Victims

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At the start of last week, a group of activists and organizations launched poplave.ba open platform, a free information service for citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina hit or threatened by floods, field teams and donors of humanitarian assistance. The platform addresses the problem of insufficient information, noted problems in coordination of rescue and aid efforts, a situation in which state actors seem incapable to respond to the needs of the population in areas hit by the floods.

Map of areas in Western Balkans hardest hit with the recent flooding (Illustration: Wikimedia)Map of areas in Western Balkans hardest hit with the recent flooding (Illustration: Wikimedia)

“We need to accelerate and optimize the process of collection, distribution and use of assistance, avoid a situation in which organizations and individuals working in the field would duplicate their efforts and leave some areas uncovered. We need to inform the donors what is priority and feedback about fair and just distribution. In other words, all data has to be available to everybody”, said Darjan Bilić, field worker of German organisation HELP.

The poplave.ba platform is an attempt to fill the need for such a system, especially in situations when citizens need urgent, concrete and targeted assistance. Activists and aid workers believe that it can’t be allowed for aid resources to again remain unused, badly used or abused.

“We used the shared knowledge and efforts of individuals from all over the country and abroad – both donor organisations and organisation that work in the field, citizens, end users – to create a civic information system that has no single owner. We all collect, sort and publish the data on the situation and the needs in the hardest hit areas”, said Pero Cigelj, the lead programmer of the platform.

The team of activists that launched the platform said that the only help that it needs to become a useful and powerful rescue and aid tool is for the citizens to be actively involved and share their information and needs.

The platform is updated constantly. Its openness allow everybody to contribute with useful information and use it as a tool in actions for collection, dispatch and distribution of aid.

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