Floods in Romania kill 21

Romania is under water. The recent floods in 33 of the country’s 42 districts killed 21 people and left more than 12,000 without a home. According to a Reuters report, the floods are the worst the country has seen in 50 years, topping the floods of April and May, which produced an estimated damage of $600 million.

Romanian officials have said they will ask for international assistance in cleaning up and rebuilding. An article published yesterday by the Institure for War and Peace Reporting says the Romanian government is much too concerned about EU accession and early elections to really focus on the villages hit by waters.

Here’s the irony: according to ReliefWeb’s Financial Tracking System (an arm of the United Nations) in 2005 Romania pledged almost $700,000 in aid for the Indian Ocean tsunami relief effort. More than $150,000 of that money has been paid, according to the data. The FTS says Romania has not given money to any other cause in 2005.

In turn, Romania received close to $630,000, most of the funds being earmarked — you guessed it — for flood relief. With the exception of a $42,308 Swiss donation related to dairy products, the rest of the money is destined to help with recovery and rebuilding. Donors include U.N. agencies, the Red Cross, Switzerland, Germany and the United States.

We donate to water related disasters and we get hit by similar tragedies. Here’s a report dated July 15 from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

You can also view a July 4 map of the affected regions here. The situation has gotten much worse since.

The photos below are by the Asssociated Press.

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