On 10 and 11 February, high-level decision-makers from the Civil Protection Authorities of the 14 Mediterranean and Balkan partner countries will participate, in Cairo, to the first workshop for high-level managers, organized by the 5 million EU-funded Euro-Mediterranean Programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters (PPRD South) which has as one of the main objectives the increase of institutional cooperation between the EU and the Mediterranean countries.
The workshop, which is organized in cooperation with the Regional Office of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) for West Asia and North Africa, will be opened by Marc Franco, Head of European Commission Delegation to Egypt, Claudio Pacifico, Italian Ambassador in Egypt and Agostino Miozzo, Director General of the Volunteer, Institutional and International Relations Office at the Italian Civil Protection Department.
As a consequence of the increased impact of disasters affecting the Mediterranean and Balkan countries, the governments of the region are recognizing more and more the importance of taking action in view to reduce its consequences on populations, infrastructures and properties. The two-day workshop will provide the opportunity to analyse the available risk reduction strategies and the possible mechanisms to put them in practice.
During the workshop participants will review the definition of risk, examine the circumstances linking risk to disaster and analyse the concept of risk mitigation. The evolution in the risk reduction policies will be presented along with the UNISDR activities in the region.
They will focus also on the issue of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and the role of Civil Protection Authorities within this national mechanism linking many institutions, which was devised and promoted by the UNISDR to help boost disaster risk reduction policies and practices at the national level.
The Swedish case-study will be presented giving a general orientation on how to form, run and sustain National Platforms. A round table on country experiences on institutional capacities and coordination mechanisms for disaster preparedness is also on the schedule.
For more information please contact:
Alessandro Candeloro, +39 349 0850931, firstname.lastname@example.org
Background information on the PPRD South Programme
The PPRD South is the third phase of the EU-funded Euro-Mediterranean Programme on Civil Protection which started in 1998. Building on the experience of the previous programmes, a 5-year Pilot Programme and the “Bridge” programme, the new 3-year Programme aims at further improving the results achieved by contributing, in particular, to the development in the Mediterranean region of a Civil Protection culture based on prevention rather than response.
The new Programme is coordinated by a consortium led by the Italian Civil Protection Department together with the National Civil Protection Authorities of Algeria, Egypt, France and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
Its objective is to develop and reinforce Prevention, Preparedness and Response capacities of the Civil Protection services in the Euro-Mediterranean region through increased institutional cooperation between the EU and the Mediterranean Countries, but also establishing closer links with the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and among the countries themselves.
PPRD South aims also at developing a national and regional risk atlas, study visits and technical assistance, organising simulation exercises, and improving the information and awareness of Mediterranean populations regarding risk exposure, prevention and response.
Disasters in the Mediterranean Region
Although the geographical characteristics of the Mediterranean region ensure a wide range of climatic, biological and cultural benefits to the resident populations as well as to the visitors who travel to the region, they also create favourable conditions for a high level of exposition of those persons to a broad range of risks of natural and man-made disasters. According to the Emergency Event Database (EM-DAT), over the last 28 years about 31 million people in the Mediterranean region have been affected by natural and technological disasters and the cost of the damages reached € 125 billion. Of these 31 million people, 14 millions were affected by drought, 8 million by earthquakes and 8 million by floods and storms. The most frequent and destructive disasters in the Mediterranean region are earthquakes, floods, drought, tsunamis, wild fires, sea pollution, and industrial accidents.
Dealing with disaster risk reduction at international level in the Mediterranean region is nowadays a must considering the frequent transnational impact of disasters as recently demonstrated by the torrential rains and floods which simultaneously struck Israel, Jordan, Palestine and Egypt in mid January. PPRD South and UNISDR are the main regional initiatives promoting such an approach.