Monday, 28 November 2011

Alastair Stewart OBE report from Bosnia

Bosnia and micro-finance

A weekend in Bosnia with one of the charities I support:

© CARE/ Jon Spaull
The day before I left for Bosnia-Herzegovina I had been grilling MPs in London about the Autumn Statement, the UK’s public spending crisis and the Coalition’s austerity package. Here, unemployment is 40% and the state levies an effective 70% jobs tax – it is the economics of the mad-house. Widows of the civil war, particularly the genocide of Srebrenica, literally scrape a living from the cold soil. Buildings, twenty years on, still bear the pot-mark battle-scares of shelling while others remain empty wrecks- crumbling monuments to lives lost, people disappeared.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

CARE International UK Chief Executive reports from Bosnia Herzegovina


© CARE/Jon Spaull
  CARE UK Chief Executive Geoffrey Dennis writes from Bosnia and Herzegovina where he is with ITN’s Alastair Stewart visiting the latest entrepreneurs to be added to Lendwithcare.

Landing in Sarajevo 19 years after I was last here during the war, I was quite surprised to see a lot of buildings and infrastructure are still in the same poor condition as they were then, some exactly as I last saw them. We travelled to Srebrenica early this morning, which economically and physically appears to still be in a very bad way. Buildings still bear bullet marks from the conflict. The economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina has slowed down considerably, particularly since 2008, and as a result approximately 40 per cent of working age people are unemployed.