Efforts are under way to supply tens of thousands of refugees in Bosnia with an emergency shipment of food, medication and clothing, said Gideon Taylor, assistant executive vice president at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
The latest flood of refugees — mostly Bosnian Muslims — is the result of the Serbian takeover of the U.N.-declared “safe zone” of Srebrenica last week.
Bosnian Serbs, defying international censure, invade and drove out thousands of women, children and elderly people who had taken refuge there.
“When you get 30,000 people suddenly arriving, it’s a pretty grim situation,” Taylor said.
The JDC and La Benevolencija, the humanitarian aid society of the Sarajevo Jewish community, are moving tons of supplies from a warehouse in Split, Croatia, to the Bosnian safe haven of Tuzla, where many of the approximately 30,000 refugees are located, Taylor said.
The Tuzla Jewish community of 111 people is involved with the logistics of the shipment, he added.
Since the war started three years ago, JDC and La Benevolencija have evacuated more than 2,000 people, both Jews and non-Jews, to safety.
Bosnian Jews, as a group, have not taken sides in the war, which allows them to carry out their humanitarian missions.