The European Commission will host a Donors' Conference in Brussels on 16 July to continue its help with the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Western Balkans and mobilise further support to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to deal with the consequences of this natural disaster. The conference will be co-organised with France and Slovenia.
"The EU and its Member States stand in solidarity with the people affected by the recent extreme floods in Southeast Europe. We are ready to use all available instruments to help the citizens of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina recover from this natural disaster. The conference will mobilise funding much needed for the countries' recovery," Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said. He also called upon donors to contribute generously to the two countries' recovery efforts.
International donor countries, international financial institutions, and main relevant civil society organisations will be invited. The aim of the conference will be to collect pledges from donors for the countries' recovery from the recent floods. The European Commission, France and Slovenia place high priority on the economic recovery of both countries and are committed to providing a substantial financial contribution. In addition to mobilising international financial support, the Donors' Conference will also contribute to stepping up co-operation over floods and natural disasters in the region.
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have recently suffered the worst flooding since records. Key public infrastructure as well as housing, health and education facilities of both countries have been severely damaged. It is estimated that over 3 million people have been directly or indirectly affected by the floods. The consequences will have a long-term impact on the socio-economic growth of both countries and may significantly influence their ability to develop or consolidate their reforms agenda.
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina do not have the capacity and resources to cope with the aftermath of the catastrophe on their own and have requested international financial support for the recovery and the rehabilitation process.
EU, World Bank and UN are working with the authorities in the affected areas on a needs assessment report which will be available in the next few weeks. These reports will be presented at the Donors' Conference, and will provide a solid basis to identify financial needs.