UN experts warn of post-flood health risks

BELGRADE - The UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Irena Vojackova-Solorano has presented to the Serbian government a report by a team of international experts that warns of health risks in the wake of the recent massive floods.

The UN experts warned of health risks, potential environmental risks as well as of damage caused to agriculture, the UN team in Serbia said.

The report is just the start of our assessment, Vojackova-Solorano said on Wednesday.

We will be glad to cooperate with the Serbian government, the European Union and the World Bank, with which we will be working on a more detailed assessment of long-term needs in Serbia as part of a so- called post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) project, she said.

The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team warned of health risks due to the water receding slowly and sewage pipes being blocked.

Sewage and septic waste has overflowed and poses a potential threat to water supply, while using open water sources additionally increases the risk of water-transmitted diseases, the experts said.

The report also identifies potential environmental crisis spots, which will require further assessments and monitoring.

Agriculture has suffered serious damage, says the report, adding that small farmers lost this year's crops and will need support in seeds, fertilisers and machinery for next year.

Landslides require additional monitoring, with particular focus on potential new ones, which can endanger human lives by causing more houses to collapse, the experts said.

The report includes an overview of the situation from May 18 to 31 - the period of terrain assessment - but the experts warned that assessment of residential...

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