A new civil protection programme in the Mediterranean region will build on the success of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional Programme for the Prevention, Preparedness and Response to natural and man-made Disasters (PPRD).
The new programme will run from early 2013 to 2016. It was announced at a high-level conference in Brussels today.
Speaking at the conference, Commissioner 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 such cooperation brings by increasing disaster prevention, preparedness and response capacities."
The new programme will focus on prevention and preparation rather than response to disasters. It will:
1. Reinforce co-operation between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean partner institutions involved in civil protection;
2. Encourage a coordinated response by countries affected by the same disaster;
3. Stimulate a regional approach to disaster management, based on prevention and preparedness and involving both governments and civil society.
The programme will be financed with €5 million from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).