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Commission européenne

Communiqué de presse

Bruxelles, 16 mai 2014

EU assists in response to floods in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated upon the request of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina yesterday evening due to severe flooding that has affected large areas of both countries. High capacity water pumps and expert teams which operate them are urgently needed in Serbia, while Bosnia and Herzegovina has called for helicopters and motor boats to evacuate people and to transport water, medicines and food.

Within hours of a Serbian request for assistance Germany, Bulgaria, Austria and Slovenia offered help. Their offers, made through the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, will be deployed through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to the flooded areas in Serbia as soon as possible.

In response to the request of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Austria have offered helicopters and motorised rescue boats to support the evacuation and transportation efforts on the ground.

"I am grateful to Germany, Bulgaria, Austria, Slovenia and Luxembourg for this swift demonstration of solidarity. Once again we've demonstrated that the EU's neighbouring countries can count on us in difficult times," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response.

The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is in close contact with both affected countries and with participating states in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to investigate the possibilities of further assistance.

Background

Due to continuous rainfall that started on 13 May 2014 and caused floods in Serbia and in Bosnia & Herzegovina, roads connecting municipalities are blocked, some areas are without electricity and water supply and mobile networks are not operational. Additionally, several landslides took place causing additional damages to regional roads. Several bridges were destroyed and some of villages have been cut off. The evacuation of the people trapped by the floods is ongoing.

Weather conditions for the next two days predict continued rainfall.

On the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates co-operation in disaster response, preparedness, and prevention among 32 European states (EU-28 plus the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). With the help of the Commission, the participating countries pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance.

The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the Emergency Response Coordination Centre. Operating 24/7, the ERCC monitors risks and emergencies around the world and serves as an information and coordination hub during emergencies. Among other tasks, the ERCC also ensures that Member States are fully aware of the situation on-site and can make informed decisions for providing financial and in-kind assistance.

For more information

How the Emergency Response Coordination Centre works:

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-349_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Emergency Response Coordination Centre:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/thematic/ERC_en.pdf

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

Pour le public : Europe Direct par téléphone au 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 ou par courrier électronique


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