Updated: 31/08/17 : 05:38:20Printable Version
“Ireland should immediately begin the process of applying for the European Solidarity Fund to assist with the clean-up and reconstruction in the aftermath of the awful flooding disaster in Co Donegal”, this was stated by Marian Harkin MEP when she confirmed she had already contacted Minister Boxer Moran to initiate this process and also made contact with the European Commission regarding the possible application.
This fund was set up by the European Union to assist Member States in the aftermath of national or regional disasters and, while the amounts awarded were small compared to the overall damage, it was nonetheless, of some assistance to Member States to get the clean-up underway and start repairing or rebuilding damaged infrastructure, she said.
“Ireland has applied for the fund, just once, when there was severe flooding in the region of Cork and we received €13 million in aid. Each region has a damage threshold that must be exceeded in order to apply for aid. In the case of the Border, Midland and Western region, that threshold is €497.8 million”, the Sligo-based Independent MEP pointed out.
“As the estimated costs of the flooding are currently in excess of €400 million it was highly likely that the affected area would qualify for aid, and I have therefore asked the Minister to start the ball rolling”, she said. It is also worth noting that there was flexibility as to the threshold requirement where a number of smaller countries such as Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were able to access the Solidarity Fund for natural disasters without reaching the threshold, and I will be raising this point with the EU Commission,” Marian Harkin concluded.