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  • Natural disasters caused deaths and widespread destruction in 2017 
  • EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) aid will help repair damage done by floods in Bulgaria and Lithuania, earthquakes in Greece and storms in Poland. 

EUSF aid worth €34 million, to help reconstruction in Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria after natural disasters in 2017, was approved by MEPs on Tuesday.

The aid includes €16,918,941 for repairs and reconstruction in Lithuania after continuous rainfall throughout the summer and autumn of 2017 caused floods that damaged drainage systems, dams and roads as well as agricultural land. The money will be used to help restore the water network and management infrastructure.

Poland will receive €12,279,244 to repair damage done by violent storms and heavy rainfall in the three regions of Kuyavian-Pomerania, Pomerania, and Greater Poland, destroying tens of thousands of hectares of forests and crops as well as transport and energy infrastructure.

Storms and floods also hit the region of Burgas, in southeastern Bulgaria, which will obtain €2,258,225 in EUSF aid.

Finally, Greece will receive €2,535,796 to repair severe damage to parts of the island of Kos caused by an earthquake in July 2017.

The report by Janusz Lewandowski (EPP, PL), was approved by 652 votes to 26, with 4 abstentions. The requisite amending budget No 4/2018, by rapporteur Siegfried Mureșan (EPP, RO), was approved by 654 votes to 26, with 3 abstentions.

Factsheets on EUSF aid to Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania and Poland can be found online on the EU Commission’s website. More background can be found in the Commission’s proposal.

Background

The EUSF was set up in 2002 in response to disastrous flooding in central Europe in the summer of that year. Since then, repair work after more than 80 disasters — including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought — in 24 EU countries has received EUSF aid totalling more than €5 billion.

Money from the EU Solidarity Fund can be used to support reconstruction efforts and cover some of the costs of emergency services, temporary accommodation, clean-up operations and the protection of cultural heritage, in order to relieve the financial burden borne by national authorities in the wake of natural disasters.