EU Grants Nearly EUR 2 M in Recovery Aid to BulgariaBulgaria in EU | April 9, 2015, Thursday // 15:05| views
The European Commission granted on Thursday EUR 1.98 M to Bulgaria for addressing the consequences of the 2014 floods.
The funds, which were allocated from the EU Solidarity Fund, aim to partially cover the emergency costs of recovery operations after the floods, the press service of the Commission informs.
The recovery aid will be directed towards helping to restore vital infrastructure and services, refunding the expenses on emergency and rescue operations and cover some of the clean-up costs.
The funds granted to Bulgaria will largely go to the Northwestern region, which is one of the least developed in the EU.
In the summer of 2014 the region suffered from major floods, the most heavily affected areas being the town of Mizia and the village of Krushovitsa.
According to estimates of the damages, 700 homes and public buildings were flooded as well as main roads and farms.
The mayor of Mizia declared a state of emergency on 2 August 2014, which necessitated the evacuation of 800 people.
The flood resulted in serious damages to the energy, water and transport infrastructure as well as public buildings, cultural heritage assets and protected natural areas.
The Commission allocated a total of EUR 66.5 M to Bulgaria, Italy and Romania, which have all been affected by major natural disasters in 2014.
European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu stated that the EU Solidarity Fund was one of the greatest symbols of solidarity in times of natural disasters.
Cretu said that the granting of the aid demonstrated the EU's solidarity with the 130 000 European citizens, who had been affected by the floods, most of whom lived in underdeveloped regions.
Many of the programmes co-financed by the European Structural and Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 period are aimed at flood prevention and mitigating the effects of climate change.
The total annual allocation under the Solidarity Fund for 2015 is EUR 541.2 M, but when a remainder from the previous year is added, the total rises to more than EUR 895 M.
The allocation under the fund is calculated based on the total direct damage occurring from a disaster and the aid can only be expended on essential emergency and recovery operations.
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