Minister Costello announces funding for flood relief in the Balkans
25 May 2014
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, TD, has announced €50,000 in funding to support flood relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Minister expressed solidarity on behalf of the Irish people with those affected by extreme flooding in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzgovina, Croatia and the region.
Minister Costello said:
“We have been very concerned about the impact of the floods in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia. Over 50 people are reported to have died and almost one million people have had to evacuate their homes in the worst flooding in more than a century.
“The Government will provide €50,000 to World Vision Ireland to support their relief work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The funding will be used to provide psychological support and counselling services to children affected by the floods and to purchase vaccines to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases.
“We have also notified our humanitarian partners that we are ready to release essential relief items from the stocks we have pre-positioned in Brindisi, Italy, if they are required.”
In welcoming this announced the Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe, TD, said:
“The devastation experienced by the people of the Balkans this month, and the damage caused by extensive flooding, has brought with it considerable hardship for the people of the region. Ireland is a strong supporter of the countries of the Western Balkans, as they undertake important reforms to prepare for EU membership. I have travelled to the Balkans a number of times this year to show our support and will continue to do so over the coming months, as the region recovers from these devastating floods.”
25 May 2014
Notes to the editor:
• World Vision was one of the first agencies to respond to the flooding in Bosnia and Herzgovina, providing food, water and hygiene kits, as well as shelter supplies and water pumps. World Vision is a key partner of the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the early nineties and key partner for Ireland’s overseas development assistance programme, Irish Aid.
• In response to a request from the Governments of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was immediately activated. Through this mechanism, the EU and its member states have provided rescue boats, high capacity pumps rescue and evacuation helicopters, generators, sandbags, tents, and blankets, as well as over 400 experienced personnel to assist with the relief efforts.
• This Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the mobilisation and coordination of physical or technical civil protection assistance in the event of major emergencies which have overwhelmed the affected State’s own response capacity.