72nd Regular Meeting of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia
At today's session, the Government took note of information on the progress of the implementation of the Preliminary Programme for the repair of direct damage to property caused by the floods of 4 August 2023, the progress of activities to prepare the application to the EU Solidarity Fund, and the activities related to the determination and payment of intervention costs.
Government takes note of information on the progress of the implementation of the Preliminary programme for the repair of direct damage to property caused by the floods of 4 August 2023
At its session on 21 September 2023, the Government adopted the Preliminary Programme for the repair of direct damage to property caused by the floods of 4 August 2023, under which it granted advance payments to 117 municipalities on the basis of a preliminary assessment of the damage. A total amount of EUR 222 million has been earmarked in the State budget for the implementation of the Preliminary Programme.
In order to ensure the transparency and traceability of the use of the allocated funds, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, in agreement with the Ministry of Finance, will initiate and develop 117 projects (i.e. for 117 municipalities) within the framework of the Development Programme Plan (NRP). This will allow for the conclusion of contracts with individual municipalities for the transfer of the advance payment. The procedures are underway and the transfers are expected to be made within five weeks at the latest.
The advance payments are intended to co-finance the implementation of the emergency measures listed in the Preliminary Programme. The eligible costs include the preparation of the necessary project documentation, the execution of the construction works, the supervision of the construction works, the payment of the costs of the temporary accommodation of displaced persons (unless the municipality has already claimed these costs on the basis of the Act Determining Intervention Measures for Flood and Landslide Recovery of August 2023) and the payment of VAT.
Within 12 months of the conclusion of the advance payment contract the municipalities must submit a report on the use of the funds received.
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning
Government takes note of information on the implementation of emergency measures on watercourses in the Koroška region
The Government took note of information on the implementation of emergency measures on the river basins of the Sava, Meža and Mislinja, the upper stream of the Pesnica, the Dravinja river basin and, due to heavy rainfall in Austria, the Drava river basin. Most of the damage was caused on the Meža River and its tributaries in the municipalities of Črna na Koroškem, Mežica, Prevalje and Ravne na Koroškem as a result of short-term heavy rainfall exceeding the 100-year return period and previous weather events.
Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning
Government on the payment of intervention costs and the assessment of flood damage
The Government took note of information in the Ajda application on activities related to the determination and payment of intervention costs and the assessment of direct damage. The information summarises the decisions taken by the Government on the reimbursement of intervention costs to municipalities and protection, response and rescue forces during the storms and floods in May, July and August this year. It also includes information on the intervention costs paid to the municipalities in Koroška to date. It also provides preliminary information on the preparation of an assessment of the direct damage caused by the floods in August.
As a result of the numerous storms, floods and landslides this year, the Government has adopted several decisions on the reimbursement of costs to municipalities and fire brigades for interventions, where the national plan for a specific natural disaster has not been activated, and on the reimbursement of intervention costs where the national plan has been activated. Payments are made by the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief on the basis of applications from municipalities and protection and rescue forces which prove the eligibility of the costs by means of authentic documents.
During the storms and floods that hit Slovenia in May, July and August this year, municipalities, fire brigades and other protection and rescue forces incurred a total of EUR 120,154,395 in intervention costs, of which EUR 94,952,956 were incurred by municipalities and EUR 11,412,695 by protection and rescue forces, including fire brigades, as a result of the floods that hit Slovenia on 4 August.
The Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief has already paid out a total of EUR 4,170,253 in intervention costs to municipalities for the storms, floods and landslides that occurred between 16 and 23 May and between 12 and 13 July this year. As of Thursday 28 August, 125 out of a total of 144 requests from municipalities for reimbursement of the intervention costs incurred during the storms of 17-25 July this year, totalling EUR 4,325,152, will have been granted (the total intervention costs incurred by municipalities amounted to just over EUR 5.5 million).
A contract with the Fire Fighting Association of Slovenia and the Slovenian Fire Protection Association will also be ready by the end of this week, under which they will be reimbursed a total of EUR 2,605,099 for the interventions on 12 and 13 July this year and between 12 July and 3 August this year, and EUR 10,694,539 for the interventions between 4 and 31 August this year. The contract for the reimbursement of the intervention costs incurred by the protection and rescue forces between 4 and 31 August this year, totalling EUR 718,156, will be submitted to their umbrella organisations by the end of this week.
Municipalities have until 6 October this year at the latest to submit their claims for the reimbursement of the intervention costs incurred between 4 and 31 August and totalling EUR 94,952,956.
The information adopted by the Government also includes a report on the entry of direct damage from the floods at the beginning of August this year into the Ajda application. 173 municipalities had entered damage into the application by 22 September this year, and a total of 23,812 entries were made in a smooth and timely manner thanks to a number of measures and the cooperation of all stakeholders.
The total damage recorded in the application amounts to EUR 2,514,017,905.75, the largest amount being in the water sector, amounting to more than EUR 1.3 billion The damage to more than 12,000 residential and public buildings, as well as commercial and other structures, amounted to almost EUR 500 million.
The data in the application is being reviewed by regional commissions, which will produce a final assessment in October this year. The SODO company already has the data to calculate the reduced electricity costs for those affected by the August floods, and the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development will have the data on direct damage by the end of the week with a view to preparing an application to be submitted to the EU Solidarity Fund.
Source: Ministry of Defence
Preparation of the EU Solidarity Fund application
The Government took note of information on the progress of activities to prepare the EU Solidarity Fund application. Immediately after the disaster, the Government set up an inter-ministerial working group, led by the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development, to prepare the EU Solidarity Fund application and implementation. The working group met three times in a broader structure. At its last meeting on 5 September, the inter-ministerial working group agreed to use the PDNA (Post-Disaster Needs Assessment) methodology, which builds on national damage assessment methodologies, to comprehensively and rapidly calculate the cost of the damage for inclusion in the EU Solidarity Fund application, and to identify damage assessment assessors for each category.
The PDNA method, developed by the World Bank, the European Union and the United Nations Development Group, helps to assess the impact of a disaster in a comprehensive and rapid manner and to prepare recovery plans. The approach promotes cross-sectoral coordination, ensuring that damage, losses and reconstruction and rehabilitation needs are identified by sector. The approach promotes cross-sectoral coordination, ensuring that damage, losses and reconstruction and rehabilitation needs are identified by sector. While the national damage assessment methodology is based on a direct damage inventory, the PDNA method, as an upgrade, allows for the assessment of impacts also in areas where field inventory is not possible in such a short time due to temporal or other reasons. At the same time, the upgrade allows for a uniform and comparable assessment of the costs of restoration to normal, taking into account the fact that such extensive restoration takes several years. The overall impact assessment covers all aspects of the disaster, from the replacement of buildings, the rehabilitation of watercourses, the restoration of infrastructure, the protection and restoration of cultural heritage sites, waste disposal and management, etc. It should be noted that the assessment does not include improvements, but takes into account price increases over the expected recovery period. For example, in the case of landslide remediation, the impact assessment of the landslides triggered includes the cost of the remediation of those landslides that have already been triggered. At the same time, the impact assessment also includes the cost of monitoring and remediating those landslides that pose an additional risk to people, infrastructure and the environment since the beginning of August 2023. These landslides need to be monitored and, if necessary, remediated to prevent them from being triggered in the next (major) rainfall event, thus endangering the population, infrastructure and the environment and causing further damage.
Throughout the process, the Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development maintains close cooperation with external experts, representatives of the World Bank and the European Bank for Research and Development. The deadline for submitting an application to the European Commission is 12 weeks from the date of the event, i.e. 27 October 2023.
Source: Ministry of Cohesion and Regional Development