Dear friends and supporters of Vacation from War,
Every time I call our coordinator in the former Yugoslavia, Alma Dzinic-Trutovic, first of all I ask about the health of our staff and the youth of Youth United in Peace (YU-Peace). The good news: so far, our staff and their families have been healthy, so far nobody from the YU-Peace group has been infected by Covid-19.
Some employees have sent us shorter and longer texts to inform you about the situation in their countries or cities, we would like to share a selection with you here. Many YU Peace members are currently involved in neighborhood initiatives and corona solidarity networks in their cities. The numbers for infected and dead people mentioned in the texts are relatively low, but this may also be due to the fact that, as the text from Bosnia shows, there are very few tests. In addition, some of the numbers have also risen.
The situation in different countries varies, but all of them are affected by the effects of the pandemic. There are major shortcomings in health systems, fears of misinformation, corruption and massive attacks on democratic rights. The economic impact is already serious and will continue to grow, companies are closing, people losing their jobs, prices for commodities rising. We will continue to inform you about the work of our partner organizations.
As far as the summer meetings and seminars are concerned, we have now postponed a lot, canceled some – at the same time, our partners in the former Yugoslavia as well as in Israel and Palestine have great, creative ideas for alternatives that they are currently planning and substantiating.
Vacation from War continues despite the Corona- pandemic – with new concepts, which we also see as a great opportunity to expand our repertoire of formats and tools and to try out new things! We will post more specific information here soon.
Brigitte Klaß (Coordinating Team Vacation from War)
Our regional coordinator Alma Dzinic Trutovic reported from Bosnia-Herzegovina: As of April 13, 2020, 6174 people have been tested in Bosnia, 588 of whom were infected. 24 died, 38 have already recovered. The economic impact of the pandemic in Bosnia-Herzegovina is devastating. 19.927 companies have already closed, and more and more people are registering unemployed. Masks and protective clothing for medical personnel as well as masks, gloves and disinfectants for the population are missing. Flour is scarce due to hamster purchases, food prices are rising steeply. A piece of information that particularly outraged me: The government decided to still pay out the amount set in the budget for the political parties: 3,454,988 KM, or 1.812.789 euros, go to the parties, while in the entire public sector everything is missing.