Twenty-five percent of Serbians are impoverished. This percentage translates into close to 1.8 million people (World Bank statistics). Inadequate living conditions in slums are recognized as one of the apparent signs of the extreme poverty that affects thousands of people in Belgrade. According to a research study by the University of Belgrade, the Roma people are the most vulnerable and affected by poverty in this region.
The homeless population in Belgrade is probably the most deprived subgroup out of all socially vulnerable communities and are at an even greater risk during pandemics. A significant amount of financial aid is urgently needed to provide support to these almost-forgotten people.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a $120,000 grant to ADRA Slovakia (who partners with ADRA Serbia) for the implementation of the homeless program "DrumoDrom" in Serbia. On Friday, May 28th, 2021, representatives of USAID, in Serbia, and the Embassy of the Slovak Republic signed a memorandum of understanding. The financial award will enable the continuation of the project, specifically created to provide support to homeless people.
The signatories were the USAID director, Mrs. Shanley Pinchotti, and the Slovak Ambassador in Serbia, Mr. Fedor Rosocha, with the United States Ambassador to Serbia, Mr. Anthony F. Godfrey, as a witness. The delegation chose this event to be organized at an ADRA Community Center.
"We are impressed by what the Slovak agency, SlovakAid, and the [Seventh-day] Adventist organization, ADRA, have done for the homeless,” affirmed His Excellency Anthony F. Godfrey, U.S. ambassador to Serbia. “Today, we are awarding $120,000 so that, together with you, we can continue these efforts and support more people,” continued Godfrey. “Partnerships give birth to great things!”
About ADRA Serbia
Headquartered in Belgrade, ADRA Serbia is one of 130 national offices of ADRA International and has been active in the region since 1990. During the Balkan wars in the 1990s, which affected the territory of former Yugoslavia, ADRA played a significant part in the humanitarian relief activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of the ethnic and religious associations of the people that were in need.
After the war, ADRA continued to operate as an organization in the territory of the Republic of Serbia and today its mission continues in the region. ADRA Serbia is part of a professional, effective, and growing network of ADRA International, which is known for its integrity and transparency. ADRA Serbia’s current work, under the leadership of its director, Igor Mitrović, involves responding to the migration crisis, women’s protection and empowerment, the economic empowerment of Roma families, and support to homeless people.