Bulgaria

UN Agencies in Bulgaria supporting national response to floods

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Sofia, 10 August 2005 - UN agencies in Bulgaria are continuing to support national efforts in a number of ways, working in close coordination with the State Agency for Civil Protection, and with embassies and international NGOs. Through an emergency grant approved yesterday of US $ 30,000 from the United Nations Office of the Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office is supplying twenty water pumps to assist people in the districts of Sofia, Pazardjik, Smolyan, Stara Zagora and Haskovo and 2,000 food packages to people displaced in the municipalities of Ihtiman and Kostenetz. UNICEF is providing to people in the most affected areas supplies to ensure access to clean water as well as blankets and household items valued at $ 30,000. The UNDP through its Bureau for Crisis Prevention and recovery (BCPR) has allocated $ 100,000 for emergency activities in overcoming the aftermath of the floods crisis in Bulgaria. The funds will be used primarily for strengthening coordination of relief efforts, need assessment and support to planning and managing recovery frameworks in the aftermath of the crisis in the country and will complement efforts by other UN agencies. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO EURO) conducted a rapid health assessment on 21st and 22nd of July to identify the public health needs and environmental status of the affected population. WHO is ready to assist with a similar assessment of the health consequences of the latest flooding and technical expertise for rehabilitation of the water supply/waste management/environment and health issues. Beautiful Bulgaria, a national programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, supported by UNDP, is re-allocating 500,000 leva to assist with rehabilitation of social infrastructure in the flood affected areas. In addition to the above, UNOCHA is helping bring to the attention of the international community the situation in Bulgaria, through communicating information to humanitarian assistance centres in countries throughout the world.

For additional information, please contact Svetla Velkova, UNRC Assistant, tel: 00359 2 96 96 161, or e-mail: svetla.velkova@undp.org