08/11/2012 - The European Commission announced today the launching of 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 has been announced at a high-level conference in Brussels which marked the completion of the current programme.
"In the last 20 years 1,085 disasters occurred in the Mediterranean region, killing almost 47,000 people. No country can cope with such frequent and large challenges on its own, and clearly more and better regional cooperation is needed." explains Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The new civil protection programme will have a strong focus on prevention and preparation rather than on response to disasters. It will reinforce cooperation between the north and the south of the Mediterranean, will encourage coordinated responses when a disaster affects several countries and will stimulate a regional approach to disaster management that involves civil society. The new programme will be financed with €5 million, coming from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) South instrument.
"Being well prepared means being prepared to act together. It's only by joining forces that we can help to shape a Mediterranean more prepared for natural or man-made disaster," added European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle.