The latest price increases in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) caused an increase in the number of users of soup kitchens in Mostar by up to 15 percent, with the number of users of food and hygiene packages increasing by as much as 50 percent.
”With the increase in prices, the number of users, i.e. citizens who are in a state of social need, has increased by 10 to 15 percent, with the fact that there is a lot of pressure from users who are looking for help in packages with food and hygiene items, and who live in suburban settlements and are unable to reach soup kitchens,” said the secretary of the Red Cross of the City of Mostar, Alen Kajtaz.
This humanitarian organization prepares 354 meals every day and counting the families who receive packages on a monthly basis, it represents around 400 meals.
Abolition of VAT on donated food
Kajtaz said that he hopes that the abolition of VAT on donated food will help the work of soup kitchens.
At the same time, he is also an advocate for exemption from VAT for basic foodstuffs (bread, milk, oil, and sugar) that soup kitchens purchase daily.
He believes that there are modalities and that the relevant institutions should deal with it following the example of the neighboring Republic of Croatia where, for example, the VAT on bread is 5 percent.
”This would mean an incentive and saving of funds for soup kitchens,” evaluates Kajtaz and notes that this organization receives only 40 percent of the necessary funds for work from the total budget funds.
”Regardless of the funds we receive, and taking into account all the parameters that reflect the work of the Red Cross or other humanitarian organizations, including volunteer work, and overtime work, we receive only 40 percent of the funds to cover the needs of all socially vulnerable categories,” he points out, noting the immeasurable importance of the Red Cross, especially in preparing for and responding to natural disasters, Vijesti.ba reports.