Romania

Emergency relief funds of $100,000 for floods crisis in Romania

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Bucharest, 23 May 2005: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) has allocated USD 100,000 for emergency activities in response to the floods crisis in Romania. This amount will be used to procure motorized boats, life jackets and other equipments necessary for coordinating relief works.
Romania has been hit with record-breaking floods in its Western region, considered to be the most devastating for the past 50 years. During the last two weeks, three counties: Arad, Caras-Severin and Timis have been affected leaving more than 3700 homeless with damage to around 350 bridges and dams. Timis County (on the border with Serbia and Montenegro) has been most severely stricken with floods, as the water level has risen tenfold. At present more floods are occurring in Southern and Eastern Romania, with continued heavy rains still expected.

The UN Disaster Management Team has closely monitored the situation, timely responding to the Government's support requests (e.g. WHO's advice on anti-epidemic measures in affected areas). While in general the Government has responded well to the emergency and has limited its appeals for external support, capacity gaps have been identified, for which external support was solicited from Hungary and Germany. Approximately 30-40 million Euros have been pledged for rehabilitation purposes. Emergency interventions including private donations amounts to a total of 25 million Euros along with in-kind support like clothing, food, footwear and construction materials.

UNDP provided support for coordinating 2000 floods crisis in Northern Romania. Thus, the Government submitted a formal request to the UN on 13 May, for support in securing pneumatic motorised boats and life jackets. The insufficient number of available motor boats has been noted during the evacuation of people in affected areas. The availability of more motor boats, and of higher capacity, will facilitate evacuation of people and livestock, thus limiting the damage. BCPR has approved the amount of USD 100,000 for emergency relief and UNDP will coordinate the proposed activities in partnership with the Government of Romania in the affected areas.

UNDP coordination is expected to enhance the capacity of central and local authorities in flood situations, both immediately and in the longer term. After the end of the current crisis, the pneumatic boats will be kept on inventory by relevant authorities in areas at risk of flooding, and will also be made available for floods in other parts of the country. A better intervention capacity from authorities is expected to contribute towards reducing the damage from floods in Romania in the future.

For more information, please contact UNDP Romania:

Manu Goel (Communications Officer) - manu.goel@undp.org Tel. (4021) 2017808 and (40 722) 523042