Euromed: new Civil Protection Programme starts in 2013

Georgieva, in last 20 years one disaster per week in the region

08 November, 15:41

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, NOVEMBER 8 - A new European Commission civil protection initiative in the Euro-Mediterranean region has been launched today in Brussels. The new programme will start in the spring of 2013 and will run until 2016, building on the achievements of the successful Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made disasters (PPRD).

''In the last 20 years 1,085 disasters occurred in the Mediterranean region, killing almost 47,000 people. This means one disaster per week'' said the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Kristalina Georgieva. ''No country - she added - can cope with such frequent and large challenges on its own, and clearly more and better regional cooperation is needed''. ''Beyond showing solidarity in the event of crisis, we need to cooperate in preventing and mitigating such events. We have already achieved a lot thanks to this programme, but there is more to be done'' said the European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule.

The new civil protection programme will have a strong focus on prevention and preparation rather than on response to disasters. It will address the following issues: reinforcing co-operation between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean Partner institutions involved in civil protection; encouraging coordinated responses of countries affected by the same disaster; stimulating 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).

(ANSAmed).

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