EU provides funds for post-flood recovery

SVILAJNAC -- Head of the EU Mission to Serbia Michael Davenport on Wednesday visited Svilajnac to which the EU has provided financial aid for post-flood reconstruction.

Davenport is seen in Svilajnac on Wednesday
Davenport is seen in Svilajnac on Wednesday

After touring the reconstruction works at the Children's Joy kindergarten, Davenport told reporters that the EU has set aside EUR 30 million in aid for the population of the 24 flood-hit municipalities in Serbia.

"We have set aside an additional EUR 50 million for preventive works to keep the floods from occurring again," he said, noting that when it comes to the post-flood recovery, the EU "treats Serbia as a member of the European family of countries."

The European Commission has proposed that the European Parliament earmark a further EUR 60 million from the Solidarity Fund as assistance to Serbia, Davenport said.

The EU has set aside EUR 1 million in aid for the Svilajnac municipality, Davenport said, adding that he is impressed with what civil society representatives and citizens have done in the post-flood reconstruction efforts so far.

The kindergarten's Director Zorica Đorđević said that the EU-funded reconstruction of the pre-school facility costs around EUR 700,000, adding that the kindergarten should take in around 450 children at the end of the year.

Svilajnac Mayor Predrag Milanović said that the B92 Fund was the first to help the reconstruction and that the foundation of famous Serbian tennis player Novak Đoković also joined the effort.

They secured funds for reconstructing 1,100 square meters in the kindergarten - nearly half of the total - but the works would not have been completed on time without the EU assistance, Milanović said.

Davenport also visited the Svilajnac Natural History Center and the Ilić family farm, where he handed over aid for the winter sowing.

While in Svilajnac, Davenport also signed a contract on reconstructing and building 83 houses in that municipality with representatives of the NGO Help and owners of the houses.

The value of the donation is EUR 160,000, it has been announced.