During May 2014 exceptionally heavy rains fell on Serbia causing terrible floods and seriously damaging public and local people’s economies. Many people lost their houses, agriculture, infrastructure and roads were destroyed and more than 50people died. During that time, 139 out of 145 Serbian municipalities, were under water so the government declared a state of emergency. Thanks to urgent international help, some damage was eliminated, but the consequencesremain. Total damage was estimated at 1.7 billion EUR.
The biggest donor for flood relief is the European Union, with 168. 1 million EUR, through several projects foreseen to close by end of July 2020.Out of that, 30 million EUR was immediately redirected from IPA2012 for recovery of 39 of the most affected municipalities. 60.2 million EUR was injected through the EU Solidarity Fund and implemented by the Public Investment Management Office. It was used to finance construction of 73 completely new bridges, 13 reconstruction and improvement projects for sewage and water supply systems, rehabilitation of 29 landslides, 14 projects of local watercourse regulation, 8 projects of local roads reconstruction, 59 projects for reconstruction of public facilities in healthcare and education sector and for construction and improvement of flood prevention infrastructure in 72 local self-governments. Serbia also received 67.2 million EUR from the IPA2014 - as it were a full EU member, and 10 million EUR from the Cross-Border Programme Serbia - Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the first phase, the focus was on flood recovery. In the second phase, still underway, the focus is on flood protection, prevention and building of a cross-border flood defence system. By the end of 2018, over 230 houses were constructed, and almost 2,500 flood affected homes renovated. A new building was constructed in Obrenovac, the most affected municipality, for social housing for over 40 families who lost everything in the floods. Close to 40,000 agricultural families received support in fruit seedlings, animal feed, animals, winter crops and training on disaster resilience and climate smart agriculture.
Thanks to reconstruction of 15 elementary and high schools and construction of one school and one kindergarten, more than 13,000 students and teachers have conditions to study and work now. Furthermore, transport of goods and people between Krupanj and Loznica through Korenica and Krst is normalised, and capacities of the Serbian Government’s Office for Flood Affected Areas Assistance are enhanced, to manage and monitor the recovery process in the flood affected municipalities. Finally, the risk of spreading infectious diseases is reduced through decrease in the population of mosquitoes in the flood affected areas.