The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently awarded a US$120,000 grant to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Slovakia (partnering with ADRA Serbia) for the ongoing implementation of the “DrumoDrom” program for the homeless in Serbia.
On May 28, 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.
Signatories were USAID director Shanley Pinchotti and the Slovak ambassador in Serbia, Fedor Rosocha, with U.S. ambassador to Serbia Anthony F. Godfrey as a witness. The delegation chose an ADRA Community Center as the site for the signing ceremony.
“We are impressed by what the Slovak agency, SlovakAid, and the Adventist organization, ADRA, have done for the homeless,” Godfrey said. “Today, we are awarding US$120,000 so that, together with you, we can continue these efforts and support more people,” he added. “Partnerships give birth to great things!”
According to World Bank statistics, 25 percent of Serbians are living in poverty. This percentage translates to close to 1.8 million people. Inadequate living conditions in slums are recognized as one of the apparent signs of the extreme poverty that affects thousands of people in Belgrade, especially the Roma, according to a research study by the University of Belgrade.
Statistics indicate that the homeless population is the most deprived subgroup of all the socially vulnerable communities in Belgrade, and is at greater risk during a pandemic. Leaders in the region say that a significant amount of financial aid is urgently needed to provide support to these almost-forgotten people.
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 the 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 in need.
After the war, ADRA has continued to operate as an aid organization in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Under the leadership of its director, Igor Mitrović, ADRA Serbia’s current work involves responding to the country’s migration crisis, working toward women’s protection and empowerment, supporting the economic empowerment of Roma families, and assisting the homeless.