EU to provide assistance to flood-stricken Serbia, Bosnia

BRUSSELS - The European Union has activated its civil defence mechanism after Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina requested assistance late Thursday due to the massive floods that hit large parts of both countries, the European Commission said on Friday.

A few hours after Serbia's request, Germany, Bulgaria, Austria and Slovenia offered assistance, and their offers, made via the Emergency Response Coordination Centre, will be implemented as soon as possible in flood-stricken areas in Serbia through the EU civil defence mechanism.

I would like to thank our German, Bulgarian, Austrian and Slovenian colleagues for the quick demonstration of solidarity - once again it has been shown that the EU's neighbours can count on us in difficult times, said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

Serbia urgently needs high-capacity pumping stations and operator teams, while Bosnia and Herzegovina has requested helicopters and motorboats for evacuating people and transporting water, medicines and food.

The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre is maintaining close contact with the stricken countries, as well as with the countries participating in the mechanism, to explore further possibilities for providing assistance, the European Commission said.

Photo Tanjug Video, D. Pavlovic (archive, illustration)

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