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EU Civil Protection celebrates 20th anniversary delivering assistance to people

The European Union is marking the 20th anniversary of its EU Civil Protection Mechanism tomorrow which has been activated more than 500 times to coordinate assistance people affected by natural disasters and other crises in Europe and worldwide. This has included millions of supplies of medical material during the COVID-19 pandemic, to dispatching emergency items following earthquakes and floods.

On this occasion, Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management recently said:

“The EU Civil Protection Mechanism ensures swift and well-coordinated emergency assistance whenever a disaster hits the EU or beyond.. It is a concrete example of EU solidarity in action. I am proud to look back at this success story of 20 years of EU solidarity operations. Over time, with its cornerstone position in the European disaster management system, it has not only enabled us to respond faster and to more disasters simultaneously. With rescEU we have also managed to fundamentally strengthen the level of disaster preparedness of our continent facing ever more intense natural disasters and new and more complex risks.”.

Looking back at 20 years of EU-coordinated emergency operations

Since its inception in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has responded to over 500 requests for assistance inside and outside the EU.

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina floods in 2014: The largest EU response operation saw the deployment of 30 response units.
  • Mozambique tropical cyclone Idai in 2019: The largest EU response operation with the deployment of four emergency medical teams in one single operation.
  • The forest fire season in the Mediterranean in 2021: The largest EU response operation to forest fires including the dispatch of firefighting airplanes, helicopters, drones and firefighting teams on the ground.
  • The largest repatriation of EU citizens for COVID-19 in 2020: The EU funded more than 400 repatriation flights to bring home more than 100,000 Europeans and their family members from 85 different countries worldwide.
  • The years with greatest number of activations was 2020: The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated for 102 times in 2020 alone.

Click here for the full press release


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