"On This Day in History" Bosnia-Herzegovina, March 1995

Bosnia-Herzegovina: ICRC provided hot meals daily in Bihac town

Distribution of soup to the elderly in need. ©HVAAL, Morten


Distribution of soup to the elderly in need. ©HVAAL, Morten

Beginning March 1, 1995, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began supplying food for a community kitchen for about 3,000 of Bihac town's most vulnerable residents.

"The ICRC has undertaken to provide the local Red Cross with the necessary ingredients to ensure that balanced and nutritional meals are available seven days a week for those in most desperate need," said Susanne Fischbach, the head of the ICRC office in Bihac at the time.

Distribution of soup to the elderly in need. ©HVAAL, Morten

Distribution of soup to the elderly in need. ©HVAAL, Morten

Working in difficult conditions, it took the team of local Red Cross volunteers several hours each day to prepare the meals in a hotel kitchen damaged during shelling almost a year prior. Only one electric hot plate was still working, so wood stoves were installed, but there was insufficient ventilation to clear the smoke. "Our work would be much easier if we had better equipment," commented one of the cooks, " but the kitchen is clean and that is the main thing." At one of the distribution centers where beneficiaries came to collect their meals, a middle-aged woman solemnly thanked the volunteers who handed over her rations. "I am also collecting for my mother and my aunt," she explained, "we rely very much on this kitchen as we have virtually nothing else."

Distribution of soup to the elderly in need. ©HVAAL, Morten

Distribution of soup to the elderly in need. ©HVAAL, Morten

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