Response to 2012 Natural Disaster in Croatia

Project description

Forest fire at Primošten / Photo by: Zoran Rudec

The severe snowfalls followed by the extreme drop in temperature and heavy wind (Bura) occurred on the territory of Croatia, Dalmatian Coast and hinterland over the period of 4 February - 13 February, 2012. It caused an extremely difficult situation that required the engagement of all available domestic rescue and protection capacities to assist in saving lives and ensure health and nutrition services in the most affected areas. The main effects of the calamity were registered in Split-Dalmatia, Sibensko- kninska, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Zadar, Primorsko – Goranska, Osjecko- baranjska and Brodsko-posavska counties. The disaster has affected people in many remote areas and left them without electricity, water supply, heating, and completely isolated. The basic services could not be delivered to people after traffic across the country was shut and roads connecting remote localities with larger communities were blocked. The storms have caught the authorities unprepared for even light winter weather, and completely not ready for a natural disaster of this magnitude. The calamity has even more severe potential impact, i.e. that of flooding. The response was slow, uncoordinated and with the involvement of all possible services, including the army, but not according to a coordinated response mechanism.

Answering to the emergency in Croatia during February 2012, this project aims to boost the capacities of Croatian national and local authorities through technical assistance for helping with better needs assessment and enhanced coordination from central down to the two levels of administration. These early recovery and multi-sector early recovery efforts will improve planning, and will allow better identification of further risks in the affected areas. This will enhance the effectiveness of existing state services at all levels especially multi-sector early recovery planning at the national and local level.

Project activities

Considering all the facts that were mentioned above, this project aimed at delivering following objectives:

Deliverable 1: Coordination efforts improved to reach out to affected remote areas and people in need

  • Support to Croatian National Protection and Rescue Directorate (DUZS) on national level and other relevant DRR counterparts at national and local level in coordination efforts related to emergency response and early recovery
  • Production of Situation Report, stressing the early recovery needs

Deliverable 2: Needs Assessment

·         Conduct a Needs Assessment of affected locations where people are still cut off from the closest towns and municipalities and support government in conducting further hazard and risk assessment of endangered areas

Deliverable 3: Early Recovery Planning

·         Develop Early Recovery Framework for snow affected areas and areas which might be endangered by flooding


Following project activities were implemented:

  • During April 2012 first visit of International consultant was organized.  Which included introductory meeting with DUZS representatives
  • Evaluation of the DRR responsibilities among various DRR actors was conducted during meetings at both national and local level
  • Coordinating conference, also commemorating International DRR day was organized by County representatives, during which announced was the establishment of Platform for DRR of Croatian Counties/Cities
  • UNDP and DUZS have set up a more formalized system of cooperation and as a result of this initiative on September 26 2012 Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Partnership of two institutions was signed
  • During June and July 2012 Expert team (International and National DRR) consultant have visited 7 counties and 10 cities across Croatia and held meetings with representatives of DUZS and other relevant local DRR actors
  • Meetings at national and local were used to collect all the information nesesarry for  completion of Situation report
  • Upon DUZS comments and responses to the created DRR questionnaires report on “Disaster Preparedness and Response Capacity Needs Assessment” was prepared
  • on 18/19 April in Zadar, UNDP together with local DRR counterparts organized a workshop that covered the topics on ER and DRR planning. Findings from the Situation report and Needs Assessment report were also presented druing this workshop and the occasion was also used to visit the area of Zadar hinterland which was also heavily affected by the heavy snow storms. Besides that, the preparedness of DRR response forces was tested during the civil protection exercise that was implemented too.


Donor                             Amount
UNDP BCPR (Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery) $69.000
UNDP BCPR $31.000


Year Delivery
2012 $69.000
2013 $25.000
February 2012 - July 2013
Geographic coverage
Republic of Croatia
Focus Area
Justice and Human Security; Crisis Prevention and Recovery
Project Officer
Tamara Karaica
Republic of Croatia National Protection and Rescue Directorate