EU and Ukraine together to prevent natural and man-made disasters
On 21 November 2017, the 4th PPRD East 2 National Advisory Group met in Kyiv to discuss the progress of reforms in disasters risk management in Ukraine.
In 2010, the EU launched the "Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters in Eastern Partnership Countries” (the PPRD East), now in its 2nd phase (2014-2018).
Reforms in disasters risk management are not the sole responsibility of the State Emergency Services of Ukraine (SES), but assume, on the contrary, close coordination between a wide range of players: to prevent and mitigate floods for instance, the SES has to work closely with the State Water Resource Agency under the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. The same is true for managing the risk of other disasters, natural or man-made.
Meeting regularly to review progress accomplished under the PPRD East and agree on further actions is therefore a must: this was the objective of the 4th PPRD East 2 National Advisory Group meeting.
Ukraine has already reached significant achievements under the PPRD East 2 – the last to date being a very successful participation in the full-scale civil protection field exercise EU MOLDEX 2017 organised by the PPRD East 2 in Moldova last September (9 countries, 600+ participants).
Although much remains to be done to bring Ukraine closer to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, "EU integration is a priority that cannot be discussed, and we are ready for everything in that perspective" asserted Mr Melchutskyi, First Deputy Head of the State Emergency Services of Ukraine and the PPRD East 2 Steering Committee member.
Agreed priorities for 2017-2018 include further work on Flood Risk Management at rivers basin's level, on international cooperation (transposition of the EU Host Nation Support guidelines), on Disaster Risk Assessment and Disaster Loss Data collection and processing, on promotion of volunteerism in civil protection and on further raising awareness about disasters.
In March 2018, Ukraine will participate in the European Civil Protection Forum where closer cooperation with the EU neighbourhood will feature prominently.
Background information: The PPRD East 2 Programme facilitates the strengthening of disaster risk management capacities at the national and regional levels in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. aims to strengthen regional cooperation among the Partner Countries, and brings Partner Countries progressively closer to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The Programme will last for 4 years with a budget of €5.5 mln.