EU Provides Aid for Bulgaria, Italy and Romania Floods

Last week the European Commission (EC) announced plans to grant aid worth €66.5 million from the European Union Solidarity Fund to Bulgaria, Italy and Romania following the flood disasters in 2014.

Italy will receive €56 million, Romania €8.5 million and Bulgaria €1.98 million. According to the EC statement, the aid aims to partially cover the emergency costs of recovery operations following floods. It will particularly help restore vital infrastructure and services, reimburse the cost of emergency and rescue operations, and cover some of the clean-up costs in the disaster-stricken regions.

Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: “The EU Solidarity Fund is one of our strongest symbols of solidarity in times of need. In many cases, the financial aid proposed in today’s decision will help some of Europe’s least developed regions to get back on their feet; it also demonstrates the EU’s solidarity with the 130,000 affected people who need to overcome the consequences of devastating floods.”

Flooding during October and November of 2014 in Italy affected the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont and Tuscany, leaving 11 people dead and forcing 3,000 from their homes. The city of Genoa was particularly badly affected.

Severe flooding affected 32 or Romania‘s 40 counties in May 2014. Transport, water, energy and communication infrastructure were all damaged, as well as homes, crops and livestock. The country was struck by severe flooding once again in July and August 2014, leaving over 2,300 homes damaged.

In Bulgaria, the region of Severozapaden – one of the least developed regions in the EU according to the statement by the EC – also suffered greatly from flooding in summer 2014. Most of the damage occurred in the town of Mizia and in the village of Krushovitsa. A total of 700 homes and public buildings were flooded, as well as main roads and farms. On 2 August the mayor of Mizia declared a state of emergency and over 800 people had to be evacuated. Serious damage was caused to energy, water and transport infrastructure, as well as to public buildings, cultural heritage assets and protected natural areas.

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August 2014 – Mizia floods from the air – Photo Bulgaria Ministry of Defence