Serbian National Disaster Risk Management Program


1. Background

As a result of extraordinary rains in May 2014, Serbia was affected by the most severe flooding in 120 years. The disaster affected more than 1.6 million people (22 percent of the total population) in 38 municipalities in central and western Serbia. This caused significant economic hardship and disproportionally affected the poor and vulnerable. On May 20, the Government of Serbia proclaimed three days of national mourning.
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the Government conducted a post disaster needs assessment with support from the European Union, United Nations, and The World Bank Group. This assessment focused on estimating the damages and losses caused by the event, as well as the financial needs related to recovery and reconstruction. According to the assessment the total effects of the disaster in 24 affected municipalities selected for the assessment amounted to EUR 1,525 million, of which EUR 885 million (57% of the total effects) represented the value of destroyed physical assets, and EUR 640 million (43% of the total) refer to losses in production. When considering all the 38 affected municipalities, the total value of disaster effects rose to EUR 1.7 billion or over 4 percent of GDP. The most affected sector was mining/energy (32 percent of the total), followed by housing, agriculture and trade, each accounting for around 15 percent.
Approximately 51,800 people temporarily lost their job due to the interruption of productive activities and household incomes declined proportionally. It was estimated that since the floods, 125,000 individuals have fallen below the poverty line, resulting in an increase of nearly 7 percent points over last year’s poverty level. These negative impacts on livelihoods and employment were more acute in vulnerable groups and among the rural population (the rural poverty rate in Serbia is 9.4 percent, twice as high as the urban poverty rate). Overall, the Human Development Index (HDI) was expected to decline in 2014 reversing approximately two years’ worth of growth.
In September, four months after the event, the country was affected again by another disaster. Severe flooding, flash floods and landslides resulted in an emergency situation in three municipalities in the Bor District in the eastern part of the country. This event serves as another reminder that Serbia is likely to be confronted with more frequent and intense flood events in the future. Without risk-informed planning and investments, Serbia will become even more vulnerable to such adverse events.

2. Objectives

The objective of the National Disaster Risk Management Program (NDRMP) is to support the Government of Serbia to build a comprehensive program for disaster resilience. This program will be used as an umbrella framework to coordinate, channel funds, and implement activities related to reducing and managing risks in Serbia.
This Program will be funded by different funding mechanisms including a Multi-donor Trust Fund specifically prepared for this purpose. One of the main specific purposes of the Program will be to build a Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized national disaster risk management system with the necessary capacity and clear responsibilities to reduce the existing risks, to avoid the creation of future risks, and respond more efficiently to disasters.
The Program will help mobilize international donor funding, facilitate coordination across donors and key stakeholders, and ensure that financing will be directed to prioritized investments.