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Published on : Monday, November 11, 2013
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCP) has been activated to ensure coordinated European relief efforts following the Philippine authorities’ request for international assistance to address the colossal needs in the aftermath of the devastating cyclone Haiyan.
“We are all deeply shocked by the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Haiyan,” said Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. “The priority is to restore access to remote areas hit by the cyclone, deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been left homeless and ensure that they have clean water to drink, emergency food supplies and shelter. This is what we are all working on right now through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.”
To respond to these most urgent priorities, several Member States are sending material support to the Philippines and the EUCP support this effort through its coordination capacities. Belgium has shipped a medical team and a water purification unit to help address the acute need for clean drinking water. Hungary has committed a search and rescue team and medical doctors to be deployed shortly. The UK and France are sending shelter kits. Sweden provides a base camp with communication equipment to support the international coordination effort. Germany has deployed needs assessment experts. Further in-kind contributions to be delivered via the EUCP are expected within the coming days.
The European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC), which monitors the situation 24/7 has already deployed an advanced assessment team of two experts to the Philippines. A team of 6-8 civil protection experts will be dispatched within the next few days to coordinate the rescue efforts with the Philippine authorities and humanitarian organisations.
The activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism comes in parallel with Sunday’s announcement of the European Commission to make available €3 million of emergency funds available for immediate humanitarian needs. The aid, which is being channeled through humanitarian organisations, is targeting the most acute needs of the population in the worst affected areas.