Friday, 20 May 2022

EC Grants Croatia Extension of Deadline for Using EUSF Funds for Earthquake Relief

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - The European Commission has granted Croatia an extension of the deadline for using money from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for the repair of the earthquake damage.

"Today, the Commission has decided to exceptionally grant Croatia the possibility to extend until 30 June 2023 the deadline for the use of the financial contribution from the EU Solidarity Fund to compensate for the damage of the earthquakes that severely hit the country in 2020 and 2021," the Commission announced on Friday.

Croatia has been allocated over €1 billion from the Solidarity Fund to remedy the damage caused by the earthquakes that struck Zagreb in March 2020 and Sisak-Moslavina County in late December 2020 and January 2021. The usual deadline for the use of funding is 18 months, and in this case, it expires in June this year.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in February this year, after which it was announced that the deadline would be exceptionally extended for a year. The Commission has never before extended the usual deadline.

"Croatia was hit twice by strong earthquakes, first in Zagreb and then in the city of Petrinja and the Sisak-Moslavina county. All of that happened during the first wave of the Covid pandemic, considerably hampering the recovery efforts. Ensuring that Croatia can fully benefit from the financial support from the EU Solidarity Fund for the reconstruction of the two regions is of utmost importance for the population and a sign of strong and concrete solidarity by the European Union," said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.

For more, check out our politics section.

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Turkish NGO Donates 250 Ramadan Packages to Sisak Muslim Charity

ZAGREB, 26 April 2022 - The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency TIKA has donated 250 humanitarian Ramadan packages for Sisak Islamic citizens.

TIKA vice-president Rahman Nurdun presented the packages on Tuesday to the president of Sisak's Merhamet charity, Šaban Kadrić. Nurdun commended TIKA's office in Zagreb and its leader Sedef Bulut for its prompt response in the wake of the 2020 earthquake and the wish to help residents of Sisak and Sisak-Moslavina County as much as possible.

"Turkey is one of the first countries to have provided assistance when Sisak and its environs were struck by the devastating earthquake, sending 200 housing containers and a large number of humanitarian packages to this area," Kadrić said, expressing gratitude to Nurdun.

"The diversity of our city enriches every aspect of our lives," Sisak Deputy Mayor Marko Krička said, noting the positive and long-lasting business cooperation and friendship between Sisak and TIKA.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Bosnian Serb Entity Building Family Homes for Croatian Serb Quake Victims

ZAGREB, 19 April 2022 - Croatian MP Milorad Pupovac and the director of the Bosnian Serb entity's secretariat for the displaced and migration, Davor Čordaš, on Tuesday signed an agreement on the construction of houses for Serb families whose homes were destroyed in the 2020 earthquake in Croatia's Banovina region.

The agreement is worth HRK 6 million and envisages the construction of ten prefab houses, to be made by the Steco factory in Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The agreement was signed in the Bosnian Serb entity's capital of Banja Luka.

Prior to that, Pupovac held talks with the entity's prime minister, Radovan Višković, telling the press he expected the houses to be delivered by the end of the summer.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

€3.5m Renovated Operating Block in Zagreb's Children's Hospital Reopened

ZAGREB, 6 April 2022  - Health Minister Vili Beroš on Wednesday opened a renovated operating block at Zagreb's Children's Hospital, noting that it was the first reconstructed hospital block in Zagreb since the 22 March 2020 earthquake, an investment worth HRK 26.2 million (€3.5 million).

"The reconstruction of the hospital block proves the government and ministry's strategy to help in the recovery of health institutions' capacity", the minister said.

The block, which consists of two fully equipped operating rooms, was fully renovated with funds from the 2014-2020 Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion and a Health Ministry budget reallocation of HRK 10.6 million.

"The reopening of the operating rooms and restoring the accommodation capacity of the Children's Hospital is the first significant step in the recovery of the city's medical capacity since the earthquake", hospital director Goran Roić said.

Minister Beroš announced other similar projects in the Zagreb medical system.

As regards efforts to deal with the consequences of the 2020 earthquake, based on a public call by the Health Ministry for the allocation of grants, contracts have been signed so far with 60 institutions, established by the state or the City of Zagreb, worth HRK 2.3 billion.

Of that amount, HRK 850 million comes from the European Solidarity Fund and HRK 1.45 billion from other sources.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our lifestyle section

Friday, 1 April 2022

Over 1,900 Family Houses Reconstructed in Quake-Affected Sisak County

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - Minister Tomo Medved, who is at the helm of the national post-quake reconstruction team, said in Glina on Friday that so far over 1,900 family houses had been rebuilt or renovated in the earthquake-hit areas of Sisak-Moslavina County.

In addition, over 900 houses are currently being reconstructed, and project documentations for 3,000 buildings and structures have been prepared, said the minister.

Over 500 contracts have been signed for the construction of houses that will replace the demolished properties, he said adding that the builders tasked with constructing blocks of flats in Glina, Petrinja and Topusko have been selected.

Sisak-Moslavina County Prefect Ivan Celjak, who accompanied the minister during his visit to Glina, said that the reconstruction of six facilities within the Psychiatric Hospital in Popovača would soon start.

He also presented plans for funding the reconstruction of the buildings within the hospital complex in Sisak.

Medved and Celjak today visited the renovated and upgraded community health centre.

For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Magnitude 3.2 Tremor Reported In Petrinja

ZAGREB, 10 March 2022 - A 3.2 magnitude earthquake was registered near Petrinja at 1410 hours on Thursday, Croatia's Seismological Survey said.

The tremor was felt in the wider Petrinja area as well as the nearby city of Sisak.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Monday, 21 February 2022

UNICEF Continues to Care for Disabled Children in Quake-Hit Area

21 February, 2022 - Representatives of UNICEF and the Sisak-Moslavina County association of persons with disabilities presented the results of a support programme for disabled children in Petrinja on Monday.

The earthquakes that struck the region in late December 2020 damaged the premises used by the association and called into question the provision of the necessary support for children and counselling for their families.

Thanks to HRK 367,368 (nearly €50,000) in aid, about 100 children with disabilities will be able to continue using therapy services at the Little House, and the six professionals working with the children and their families will stay in their jobs.

The head of UNICEF Croatia, Regina M. Castillo, said that their focus was always on the most vulnerable children and that they would continue providing support. 

UNICEF's ambassador in Croatia, Bojana Gregorić Vejzović, said that the value of what UNICEF was doing could particularly be seen in crisis situations when the most vulnerable children could be left out of focus. "We must not let them be forgotten."

Last year, the Little House organised 2,459 work therapy appointments, 1,336 sensory integration appointments, 798 physiotherapy appointments, 4,562 individual consultations with parents and guardians, and other services.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Croatian FM Thanks Bavarians For Earthquake Relief

ZAGREB, 17 Feb 2022 - Croatia's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, on Thursday thanked the Bavarian State Minister for Federal Affairs and Media, Florian Herrmann, for the assistance this German province had extended to the earthquake-hit Sisak-Moslavina County.

"We consider this gesture a sign of great friendship and solidarity between Croatia and Bavaria," Grlić Radman said after their meeting in Munich.

Last year, Bavaria sent to Croatia over 70 tonnes of construction material, dozens of container homes, packages for children and other aid to help it deal with the aftermath of strong earthquakes that struck Sisak-Moslavina County, central Croatia on 28 and 29 December 2020.

The two ministers said that Croatia and Bavaria fostered very close political, economic and cultural ties, and Grlić Radman noted the role of the sizeable Croatian community in the largest German province as an important factor in maintaining bilateral relations.

Herrmann, a member of the Christian Social Union, reiterated Bavaria's support for Croatia's aspirations to join the Schengen area and the euro zone. Grlić Radman informed him about the situation in the Western Balkans, notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina where talks on the reform of electoral legislation have reached an impasse.

Grlić Radman will talk about this matter later in the day at a panel at the 57th Munich Security Conference. The conference formally opens on Friday, and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković is due to attend on Sunday.

Apart from Grlić Radman and Herrmann, the panel on the Western Balkans will also be attended by the international community's High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, US Special Envoy Gabriel Escobar and Bosnia and Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Bisera  Turković.

 For more, check out our politics section.

 

Friday, 11 February 2022

Magnitude 3.8 Earthquake Registered Near Petrinja

ZAGREB, 11 Feb 2022 -  A magnitude 3.8 earthquake was registered in the Banovina region at 0733 hours on Friday, Croatia's Seismological Survey said.

The epicenter of the tremor was near the village of Donja Budičina, 5 km south of Petrinja.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Between Two Periods of Waiting: Sisak Earthquake Aftermath Captured in Moving Photos

January 27, 2022 - Croatian photographer Miroslav Arbutina Arbe documented the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in a series of photographs currently displayed in Rijeka

It’s been a little over a year since one of the greatest tragedies Croatia has seen in recent times: the disastrous earthquake that hit Sisak-Moslavina County in December 2020.
Often referred to as the Petrinja earthquake after the town which suffered the worst blow, it ravaged other towns and villages in the area as well, affecting the lives of many.

Shortly after the earthquake, Croatian photographer Miroslav Arbutina Arbe was hired by the Ministry of Culture to document the damage inflicted on cultural heritage sites, specifically in the town of Sisak. The result is a series of 82 black and white photographs that have since been displayed in a moving exhibition commemorating the disastrous event.

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While the primary purpose was damage assessment and the photos are thus documentary above all, as a skilled photographer Arbutina aptly captured moments that would have likely gone unnoticed by an average observer. A music school diploma on a wall ripped in half by tremor, handwritten notes tacked above the kitchen sink, a marital bed buried in rubble, and perhaps the most poignant, a calendar forever stuck on the fateful December 29th.

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Devoid of colour, framed and displayed in a gallery setting, the photos are loaded with emotion and take on an artistic property. It’s an eerie sensation, recognising an aesthetic quality in images of devastation and loss, but this only seems to reinforce their emotional impact.

This is also reflected in the very title of the exhibition, ‘Between Two Periods of Waiting’, referring to the horrifying uncertainty that people affected by the earthquake have had to live with. As the author himself stated: ‘Those who haven’t experienced such a catastrophe probably believe that losing one’s home is the worst part of it, but it isn’t. To me, the worst was expecting the next earthquake to hit, that period of uncertainty between two quakes.’

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The exhibition was conceived by the author and organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the City of Sisak and the Sisak City Museum.

The photographs were displayed in Zagreb and Sisak in late 2021, and are currently on display at the Rijeka City Museum (the 'Kockica' building). The exhibition is part of this year’s Museum Night programme in Rijeka, and will remain on display until January 29th. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge.

 

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