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Call for Euro flood aid

Published: 12 Jan 2016 13:15

Scottish Government advises Westminster to request EU help.

Scottish Ministers are calling on the UK Government to access a European fund to help parts of the country recover from the recent flooding.

Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown is today writing to Environment Secretary Liz Truss and raised the use of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to aid the clean-up operation in the aftermath of the devastation.

The EUSF was established to respond to major natural disasters and express solidarity with disaster-stricken regions in Europe.

The application for EUSF aid must come from an EU member state government, and so the Scottish Government is ineligible to apply directly. So far, the UK Government has declined to apply

Mr Brown said:

"There can be no doubt that the impact of the flooding in parts of Scotland, particularly the North East, but also in the Borders, Perth and Dumfriesshire, has been devastating for those communities.

"We have heard horrendous stories of families forced to flee their homes and leave behind all of their possessions, as well as businesses desperately trying to protect their premises and livelihoods. For many this will be like starting all over again.

"We have already activated the Bellwin Scheme, and on Saturday the First Minister announced £12 million in additional support for areas affected by the severe weather.

"Alongside the £4 million announced by Deputy First Minister John Swinney in his budget statement, this takes the total package of support currently available to £16 million.

"But the recent weather events have been unprecedented - and so I have reminded the UK Government that we are part of a European community which can come to the aid of the clean-up operation.

"I will be monitoring the situation closely and keeping up the pressure to ensure every available help is forthcoming as those communities recover from those floods."

Notes to editors

Background

The EUSF was created following the severe flooding in central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, a total of €3.7billion has supported 24 countries in the aftermath of 70 major natural disasters including floods, storms, earthquakes, forest fires and droughts.

The UK received €162.3m in EUSF aid following severe flooding in June 2007.

Payments from the Fund are limited to the financing of emergency operations carried out by the public authorities to deal with non-insurable damage (such as salvage operations, repair of infrastructures, temporary accommodation, cleaning, etc.).

Contact: Donna Watson: 0131 244 5122/07786 661 926