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EU Commission to aid Romania with 8.2 mln euro to rehabilitate flood-hit areas

EU Commission to aid Romania with 8.2 mln euro to rehabilitate flood-hit areas Floods in Botosani county, Romania, 2016

BUCHAREST (Romania), May 15 (SeeNews) - The European Commission (EC) said on Wednesday it has approved the allocation of 8.2 million euro ($9.21 million) for the North-East region of Romania, strongly affected by floods last summer.

As a result of heavy rainfall from mid-June to early August 2018,  infrastructure, farmland and housing in six counties of the North-East region suffered significant damage, the Commission said in a press release. The Romanian authorities estimated the cost of civilian rescue and civil protection operations at almost 295 million euro.

In September 2018, Romania sent the Commission a request for financial support through the European Union Solidarity Fund for the North-East region, by far the worst affected by the floods in the summer of 2018. Then on October 9 the Romanian authorities sent a revised request, which still needed clarification. Romania submitted all the information requested for the aid in December, the Commission noted.

 "A disaster can strike at any moment. We can not always prevent this, but we can reduce damage and, most importantly, we can help protect our citizens. I want this 8.2 million euro solidarity fund to help reduce the financial burden that the North-East region has had to cope with in order to cover the emergency and recovery costs after last summer's floods ," European commissioner for regional policy, Corina Cretu, said.

Alongside Romania, Austria and Italy will receive funds to rehabilitate areas affected by floods. The financial support for the three states totals 294 million euro.

The proposal on granting financial assistance to Romania, Austria and Italy through the EU Solidarity Fund must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was created following the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has intervened in the case of 84 disasters caused by various catastrophic events, including floods, forest fires, earthquakes , thunderstorms and drought.

Romania has so far benefited from financial support through the EU Solidarity Fund worth 119 million euro for 7 cases reported to the Commission as natural disasters, which took place between April 2005 and July 2014.

($ =0.8898 euro)