The EU and its Member States are sending an expert team through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to assist the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with assessing the damage caused by recent floods and mudslides.Six technical experts coordinated by the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre, such as civil engineers for assessment and early recovery of critical infrastructure, will be deployed from 13-24 August.
“The EU stands by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to help in the response to this natural disaster. We have coordinated and responded in full solidarity to their call for assistance. I am grateful to all participating states for their reaction that made the deployment of the team possible. We remain in close contact with the relevant authorities in Skopje” – said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) on 6 August, to request assistance following the recent floods and landslides in the country.
Eight Participating States of the EUCPM (Austria, Germany, France, Hungary, Ireland, The Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom) offered experts to undertake these tasks.
In early August, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was struck by a major storm causing floods and mudslides. The rivers Pena and Porojska, both tributaries of river Vardar, overflowed in Tetovo municipality, in the North Western part of the country. The flash floods killed six people, including three children. Dozens have been injured and severe damages are caused to hundreds of homes and key infrastructure. Mudslides have engulfed local roads and cut off a number of mountain villages. In addition to the deployment of experts, to further assist the disaster response, the Commission has also been providing Copernicus satellite imagery to the emergency services operating in the affected areas.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the cooperation in disaster response among 33 European states (28 EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Montenegro and Serbia). These participating states 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 inside and outside the European Union. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the Emergency Response Coordination Centre.
On March 19 2015, the European Commission already allocated €84,236 through the International Federation of the Red Cross to assist the population mostly affected by the heavy flooding hitting parts of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia this winter. The EU-funding supported the response of the local Red Cross to the floods. The aid was used for distributing food and other essentials such as hygiene material, clothes and blankets. It benefited almost 1,000 families equalling around 4,000 people.