Immediate aid, including medics and search and rescue teams, has been flown from Europe to the Philippines which is struggling with the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan. 16 EU member states have already offered assistance.
The European Civil Protection Mechanism is activated to coordinate the contributions from member states. With its support, water purification means (e.g. from Belgium and Germany) are already on the ground and helping provide clean drinking water. The Mechanism is also working with Sweden on the provision of a base camp with communication equipment and with Hungary on the deployment of medical and search and rescue teams.
In the aftermath of large disasters, coordination of assistance is essential so that aid is efficient and so that there are no duplications. This is the kind of coordination that the EU Civil Protection Mechanism specialises in. It can also co-finance the assistance provided by Member States and to contribute to their assessments with timely information from its experts on the ground.