Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

€7m in EU aid for drought, Solea fires

CYPRUS is to receive more than €7m in aid from the EU to restore areas damaged by extended droughts and last year’s fires in Solea and Argaka.

The aid comes from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) and is part of the more than €71.5m budget MEPs approved earlier in the week to assist in repairing damage caused by natural disasters in the UK, Cyprus and Portugal.

According to the decision, Cyprus is to receive €7,298,760.

“From October 2015 to June 2016, Cyprus suffered from very low precipitation, combined with extremely high temperatures, leading to severe drought with serious crop failure, forest and vegetation fires and scarcity of water,” the European Parliament said. It added that “two major wildfires in June 2016 burnt an area of over 2,600 hectares of state forest”.

The UK is to receive more than €60m to help repair damage caused by the December 2015 – January 2016 floods, while Portugal is to receive €3.9m for the destruction caused by last August’s wildfires in the island of Madeira.

“The aid of €71.5m is intended to help restore essential infrastructure, reimburse the cost of emergency measures and cover the costs of some of the clean-up operations,” the EP said.

It added that advances have already been paid out to Cyprus and Portugal.

The EUSF was set up in 2002 in response to disastrous flooding in central Europe in the summer of that year. Since then, repair work after more than 70 disasters — including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought — in at least 24 EU countries has received EUSF aid totalling more than €3.8bn.

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