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News > Italy

Italy: Massive Emergency Aid Package Approved, Flood-Hit Region

  • Firefighter truck in flood-hit region in Italy. May. 24, 2023.

    Firefighter truck in flood-hit region in Italy. May. 24, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@kazinform_eng

Published 24 May 2023

"...it has an estimated value in excess of 2 billion euros..."

The Council of Ministers in Italy passed a comprehensive emergency assistance package on Tuesday to provide support to those affected by the devastating flooding in the Emilia-Romagna region.


Italian PM Meloni Tours Flooded Areas in North

The package was authorized one week after an unprecedented rainfall event within the area, it has an estimated value in excess of 2 billion euros (around 2.2 billion U.S. dollar).

The Council of Ministers said it aims at providing "relief and assistance to the populations and companies affected by the flood, and to proceed rapidly to overcome the emergency phase."

According to statics, the package represents one of the most extensive relief efforts in response to a major national disaster in Italy.

It comprises a temporary suspension of tax payments, utility bills, and governmental loans, a disbursement of up to 3,000 euros for self-employed individuals incapacitated to work in light of the recent flooding, and significant sums in aid and subsidies intended for businesses, infrastructure reconstruction, and health and safety check-ups in hard-hit regions.

On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called the aid package "the first important response to the territory affected," adding that more aid will come later.

"We need to simplify the rules for reconstruction ... to restart the region," Stefano Bonaccini, president of the Emilia-Romagna region, said at a joint press conference with Meloni.

"There are billions of euros in damage. There have been 300 active landslides. Entire forests have come down. There are problems with the rivers ... roads and infrastructure," Bonaccini stated.

On May 1, a heavy rainfall affected Emilia-Romagna, home to the cities of the cities of Bologna, Parma, and Modena.

The severe devastation was primarily attributable to the abundant precipitation received by the region within a brief span of 36 hours, specifically on May 16 and 17, amounting to six months' worth of precipitation.

The flooding resulted in fatalities, with a minimum of 14 deaths and several thousand homeless. Moreover, reports states that it also caused significant harm to the infrastructure, industry, and agri-food sector of the region.

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