EBRD to help with Balkan floods

By Sandy Guthrie30 May 2014

The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) is helping to boost economies affected by flooding in the Balkans.

As part of the regional flood response, the EBRD will place a priority on the rehabilitation of damaged roads, railways and water supply systems, as well as damaged power stations, and transmission and distribution networks.

In addition to looking to provide extra capital for small and medium sized enterprises, especially in the agribusiness and farming sectors, it will in the longer term be placing an emphasis on working with authorities to develop improved flood protection systems and help reduce the risk of such widespread damage in the future.

The EBRD vice president for policy, András Simor, is on a visit to flood-affected parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet senior officials and international counterparts.

Simor’s visit comes after the floods inflicted severe damage across the Balkans. No official estimates of the damage are available so far, but agriculture, infrastructure, transport and local businesses are expected to have been hit worst.

Before the visit, Simor said, “The EBRD is committed to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina overcome this devastating tragedy. This is a regional disaster and we stand ready to help countries affected by the floods.”

The EBRD invested over €1.2 billion in more than 80 projects in the Western Balkans and Croatia in 2013, and had been expecting the same level of engagement this year.

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