ZAGREB, 11 January (Hina) – The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry on Monday thanked the countries that have helped Croatia since the 29 December magnitude 6.2 earthquake, adding that that disaster has once again confirmed the benefits of Croatia’s membership of the European Union.
The ministry said that since the end of December last year when central Croatia was struck by a series of strong earthquakes, it has been informing foreign countries and international organisations of their destructive effects.
“The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, along with the entire diplomatic and consular network, has been informing foreign and international organizations about the aftermath of a series of earthquakes that hit central Croatia end-December 2020,” reads the press release issued on the ministry’s website on Monday.
The ministry continues to coordinate aid collection through its international contacts and would once again like to thank everyone for their assistance and compassion. “Croatia will not forget this,” it underscores.
The ministry underscored that this “unforeseeable situation once again confirmed the benefits of membership to the European Union,” which was evident in the first 24 hours through the Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism when urgent aid arrived from member states.
To date aid has arrived from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, the press release notes, adding that aid was sent by land, sea and air.
The ministry underlined that financial and humanitarian aid arrived shortly after the quake from Southeast European countries too – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.
The press release notes that countries from around the world have helped Croatia including Canada, China, Ukraine, South Korea and the USA.
“Numerous other countries have also offered assistance in terms of equipment or experts, which Croatia is not in the position to accept at the moment, but wishes to express gratitude nonetheless,” the press release said.
“We are especially grateful to Croatian expatriates all over the world, who have demonstrated exceptional selflessness and, like many times before, through their associations, Catholic missions and parishes, shown willingness to help the Homeland in these difficult times. This once again underscored the unbreakable ties between Croatia and its diaspora,” the press release said.
The ministry also thanked international organisations like UNICEF and UNHCR and numerous other international partners, foreign investors, companies and civil-society organisations as well as individual “who showed their solidarity with their generous contributions.”