EU civil protection initiative in Euro-Mediterranean region
The European Commission launched a new civil protection programme in the Mediterranean region, building on the achievements of the successful Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters (PPRD). The new programme will start in the spring of 2013 and will run until 2016.
European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva said: "In the last 20 years 1,085 disasters occurred in the Mediterranean region, killing almost 47,000 people. This means one disaster per week. No country can cope with such frequent and large challenges on its own, and clearly more and better regional cooperation is needed. The PPRD South is an example of the benefits of such cooperation brings not only to the countries of the region but also to their citizens by increasing disaster prevention, preparedness and response capacities."
"Beyond showing solidarity in the event of crisis, we need to cooperate in preventing and mitigating such events. Being well prepared means being prepared to act together. We have already achieved a lot thanks to this programme, but there is more to be done. There is real added value in continuing regional efforts in Civil Protection. It's only by joining forces that we can help to shape Mediterranean more prepared for natural or man-made disaster," added European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.
The new civil protection programme will have a strong focus on prevention and preparation rather than on response to disasters. It will reinforce co-operation between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean Partner institutions involved in civil protection; Encourage coordinated responses of countries affected by the same disaster; and stimulate the development of a regional approach to disaster management, based on prevention and preparedness; involving not only governments but also civil society.
The new programme will be financed with €5 million, coming from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).