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EU releases new financial aid to disaster-stricken countries

, EU member states are stepping up their response to the latest natural disasters. The EU-27 has agreed to the Commission’s proposal to provide a total of €454.8 million in disaster relief aid to Romania and Italy.

This will help repair the damage inflicted by natural disasters in 2022.

Aid will also go to Türkiye, in relation to the earthquakes in February 2023. The assistance will come from the EU’s 2023 budget.

In practice, the EU will transfer money from the solidarity and emergency aid reserve in its 2023 budget to the so-called EU Solidarity Fund operational budget line.

An EU spokesman said it can then be paid to the countries that have applied for financial assistance from this fund after being struck by natural disasters.

The EU Solidarity Fund is designed to provide financial assistance in the event of a major disaster in a member state or a country holding accession negotiations with the EU.

The aid will be distributed as follows:

  • €33.9 million to provide assistance to Romania further to severe and broad drought with three main peaks, respectively, at the end of March, in mid-April and in July-August 2022
  • €20.9 million to provide assistance to Italy further to the intense rainfall resulting in fluvial and flash flood events affecting the central Italian regions in September 2022
  • €400 million to provide assistance to Türkiye further to the major earthquakes affecting southern Türkiye in the region of Kahramanmaraş and the region of Hatay in February 2023

Meanwhile, as needs in Libya are dramatically rising, the EU says it is also strengthening its support to the country by releasing €5.2 million in humanitarian funding.

The funding will be channeled through EU humanitarian partners active in the country, enabling them to strengthen assistance with a focus on shelter, health, food, water, sanitation and hygiene, and protection.

From the total amount, €200,000 is for the Disaster Response Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in support of the Libya Red Crescent Society.

This new release brings the total humanitarian funding allocated for the emergency to over €5.7 million. The Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU is providing steady and continued support to people in Libya affected by Storm Daniel. For this reason, we have released over €5.2 million in humanitarian funding. The flood emergency also triggered the prompt reaction of EU Member States, putting EU solidarity into action on the ground. Tragically, members of a Greek rescue team in Libya lost their lives in a road accident on Sunday as they sought to help others. We express our condolences to all those affected and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.”

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