The European Commission has proposed granting Cyprus €7.3m from the EU’s solidarity fund to alleviate the financial burden of the damage caused by a drought that led to forest fires last summer and scarcity of water for the population.
The Portuguese island of Madeira was also affected by wildfires in August 2016. Almost €4m from the EUSF will help cover the costs of emergency measures, clean-up operations and of the restoration of vital public infrastructure.
“Our thoughts are still with the people of Cyprus and Madeira; these tragedies showed once again how important EU solidarity is in times of need,” Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu said. “Today we are moving from words to action with financial assistance to help affected communities, revitalise economic activity and support reconstruction efforts.”
The financial assistance package must be approved by the European Parliament and Council.
In November 2016, both Cyprus and Portugal received a first disbursement of aid worth €730,000 and €392,500 respectively.
In accordance with EUSF rules, the advance payment amounts to 10 per cent of the total sum.
Once it completes the assessment of the application, the Commission proposed a definitive amount of aid.
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.