Thursday, 9 January 2014

European Money Needs To Be Unlocked To Help Communities Affected By Flooding

Andrew Duff MEP
East of England Euro MP Andrew Duff is calling on the UK government to apply for aid from the EU's Solidarity Fund to help rebuild communities devastated by flooding in recent weeks.

The fund, which has a budget of up to £414 million for 2014, was set up to provide financial assistance to EU countries struck by major national disasters.

Large areas of the East Anglian coast have been affected by the floods especially areas along the North Norfolk and East Suffolk Coast

To benefit from funding, governments must submit an application no more than 10 weeks after the first damage caused by the disaster with details on its impact on the population and the economy and how much the aid is expected to cost.

In a letter to Environment Minister Owen Paterson, Liberal Democrat MEPs are calling for urgent action to ensure the UK benefits from the fund.

East of England Lib Dem MEP, Andrew Duff, said:

"The devastation we have seen caused by this weather has affected so many communities in East Anglia. This is exactly what this money is for and it will help the people who have had their Christmas and New Years' ruined by flooding.

"The government should be applying for this money as soon as possible in order to provide the help they need. Now is not the time for a debate about Britain and the EU. The money is there and we need to go and get it."

In 2008, the UK received about £120m in flood aid from the EU's Solidarity Fund:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7288836.stm

More information about the EU Solidarity Fund can be found here:

http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/regional_policy/provisions_and_instruments/g24217_en.htm