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12,000 Volunteers Join Slovenia Flood Relief Operations

Approximately 12,000 volunteers joined forces across Slovenia on August 14 to provide assistance in flood relief efforts as part of the Solidarity Day, which was designated as a day off from work.

Six people lost their lives due to the floods that hit Slovenia in early August, while thousands have been uprooted from their homes, as the floods resulting in significant devastation to houses, infrastructure and communities. The scale of destruction caused by the floods is profound, initially estimated at over €500mn in damages, but now projected to surpass several billion euros. 

STA news agency reported that donations continue to pour in for the affected regions, including international contributions, and the government is in the process of developing additional measures that will be deliberated on August 17.

“The Day of Solidarity is not only a day when we help people who need help or comfort, but it is also a day when we express our support to all those affected and assure them that they are not alone,” PM Robert Golob said.

The collective effort of about 12,000 people included 90 groups, each consisting of 30 to 100 individuals, who received guidance from authorities regarding their tasks and locations. The largest concentration of volunteers was observed in the Upper Savinja Valley and Koroska.

Furthermore, about 2,000 individuals who either owned properties in the affected zones or were associated with affected individuals aided in the clean-up and reconstruction on the day.

Head of the Government Communication Office, Petra Bezjak Cirman, emphasised that sustained assistance would be essential for these regions over an extended period, potentially spanning years.

Numerous locations faced accessibility challenges due to extensive road and bridge damage, compounded by debris accumulation on roadways. The Ministry of Infrastructure said that 16 state roads remained closed, and partial closures were in effect across 60 sections.

In addition to the on-site efforts, contributions in the form of monetary funds and equipment continued, originating both within Slovenia and from international sources.

Following her visit to the flood-ravaged areas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on August 9 that Slovenia is slated to receive financial aid from the EU Solidarity Fund. A substantial sum of €400mn has been designated to support flood relief endeavors.

The disbursement of this fund will unfold in two installments: an initial €100mn this year, followed by an additional €300mn in 2024.

In response to the unprecedented and devastating floods, Slovenia’s government plans to revise the budget, to allocate €100mn for financial aid and relief initiatives.

These floods have been described as the most severe in recent history, underscoring the urgency of comprehensive support.

Source : BNE Intellinews

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