Bulgaria’s Solidarity Fund Goes under Regional Development
The Head of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme Regional Development 2007-2013 becomes the national coordinator also for the aid from the Solidarity Fund Bulgaria. This was decided by ministers at their regular meeting on Wednesday (December 17). They identified the bodies and procedures for the management and control of the Fund and the methodology for allocating sums.
The Managing Authority will report directly to the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Lilyana Pavlova and is structured as a Directorate General for Programming of Regional Development at the Ministry.
The funds, which the Fund will provide will finance operations that are with a high rate of preparedness but have not received funding from target allocated national funds. It comes to operations with a high degree of risk to life and healthcare for the population or provide public access to everyday services (destroyed prevention infrastructure as a result of disaster, road infrastructure, energy, water and waste water, telecommunications, education and health infrastructure measures to protect the cultural heritage, temporary accommodation and rescue operations, cleaning of the affected areas, including natural areas). The document also sets out provisions relating to the coordination of the activities financed by the Fund, with activities funded by other EU instruments (including the European structural and investment funds) and international financial institutions.
The Solidarity Fund will guarantee the proper spending of grants to cover part of emergency measures to cope with the effects of flooding in the country in 2014. This structure controls also the spending of sums which will be granted by the Fund in the future.
Bulgaria has already submitted two applications for support from the Fund through the Managing Authority of OP Regional Development after heavy rains and floods in the summer. The applications have been prepared based on an assessment of the damage, summarized by an interagency working group under the coordination of the Ministry of Interior. The first application is for an amount of damages coming to 311 million euros, of which the removal of damage of up to 285 million euros is eligible for financing under the Fund. These include floods in June in the districts of Varna, Dobrich, Targovishte, Shumen, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo, Razgrad, Silistra, Burgas, Kyustendil, Montana, Plovdiv, Sofia region, Haskovo, Yambol and Kardzhali, which fall within the category of national resources disaster.
In the second application the country asks for assistance for flood damage in August 2014 (municipality Mizia). It falls into the category of regional disaster and covers the districts of Vidin and Vratsa. The amount of damages is set at 79 million euros of which what will be financed is the removal of damages worth 69 million euros.