Cyprus Mail

EU approves aid to tackle fire aftermath, drought

The European Commission decided on Friday to grant Cyprus close to €730,000 from the EU Solidarity Fund, as an advance payment following the island’s request for assistance after the drought and the wildfires of June 2016.

“In the wake of natural disasters, the EU Solidarity Fund is a concrete expression of European solidarity,” Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said.

Cyprus is set to receive a first EUSF payment following the drought and forest fires of June to support reconstruction efforts and regenerate economic activity.

“This first disbursement of aid shows that we are standing side by side with Cyprus,” she added.

The amount was calculated on the basis of the preliminary assessment of the application received from Cyprus on September 5, which found that the financial contribution from the EUSF was likely to amount to almost €7.3m.

In accordance with EUSF rules, the advance payment amounts to 10 per cent of this sum. Once it has completed the assessment of the application, the Commission will propose a definitive amount of aid, to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

Cyprus had asked for assistance following a fire in the Solea region of the Troodos mountain that resulted in the death of two firefighters and destruction of 18 square kilometres of pine forest.

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