Civil protection assistance consists of governmental aid delivered in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. It can take the form of in-kind assistance, deployment of specially-equipped teams, or assessment and coordination by experts sent to the field.
Yet, disasters know no borders. A well-coordinated response at a European level is necessary to avoid duplication of relief efforts and ensure that assistance meets the real needs of the affected region. In order to foster cooperation among national civil protection authorities across Europe, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was created in 2001.