FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO helps Serbia in data-driven flood recovery

Less than two years after the historic floods of 2014, Serbia was again forced to declare a national emergency in March 2016. This year’s flooding was more moderate in intensity, but 16 municipalities in the central and western parts of the country were hurt.

With the most urgent response actions now complete, Serbia can return its attention to questions of long-term recovery and resilience.

At the request of the national government, FAO has just completed a “rapid needs assessment” of the country’s agricultural sector. The new report is valuable as a compilation of accurate data and for its overview of current needs.

Main findings:

  • In total, about 10,000 hectares of arable land was flooded this time – 2.62 percent of total arable land in the affected municipalities
  • 7,121 households reported losses
  • 65 percent of households suffering losses have agriculture as their main source of income
  • Total damages and losses pile up to 2.892 million USD
  • 34 percent of that was destruction of physical assets (mainly damage to agricultural land), and 66 percent was lost agricultural production and income
  • Rural poverty is likely to increase in the affected areas.

With agricultural products accounting for more than 20 percent of exports, Serbia has a strongly agrarian profile. At the same time, it is highly exposed and vulnerable to natural hazards – mainly floods.

Improved preparedness can help reduce damage and losses from future climate-related events. The FAO report offers recommendations for disaster risk reduction, planning and response practices, and restoring the livelihoods of affected groups.

Report data were derived from figures provided by the municipalities, complemented by discussions with local officials, field findings, expert opinions, and feasibility considerations.

14 July 2016, Belgrade, Serbia