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Romania, Bulgaria: NATO assistance to flood-stricken countries

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Massive rainfalls have been hitting Bulgaria and Romania since this spring, leading to serious cases of flooding and the need for international assistance.

Both Bulgaria and Romania have appealed to NATO's Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), to coordinate assistance from member and partner countries.

Appeals from Bulgaria and Romania

The first request for assistance came from Romania on 19 May, after the west of the country had been affected by torrential rain. Several victims had already been reported and thousands of houses and settlements had been destroyed, as well as bridges and public buildings such as schools and hospitals.

Equipment such as submersible water pumps, water purification units, waterproof coats, diving suits, roof slates and rubber boots were provided. In addition, specialised equipment, medication and water management personnel were sent to help avoid the spread of disease and ensure that the local population still had access to drinking water.

Later, after heavy rains had started to fall in the east of the country, Romania put out a second request for assistance on 16 July, to which member and partner countries are responding.

A request for assistance was also issued by Bulgaria on 9 June, and again on 19 July. Dangerous flooding has badly affected many parts of the country where intense rains reached up to 106 litres per square metre within a few days. Damage has been caused to buildings, infrastructure, river dams , asphalt covering of roads and roofs, while farmland has been flooded and landslides have occurred in several regions.

In addition to these two countries, the EADRCC has recently coordinated flood assistance to Georgia, twice - in April and June - and has received a request for assistance from the Kyrgyz Republic.