Recent extreme climate events worldwide demonstrate again that natural disasters know no borders. In August 2017 forest fires broke in Georgia – Abastumani and Borjomi regions were the most affected. The intensity of forest fires requires the engagement of international rescue teams to assist the national forces. This is specifically to address these issues that the EU launched in 2010 the PPRD East (Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters in EaP Countries), now in its 2nd phase (2014-2018). A lot has been already achieved in Georgia under this PPRD East 2, starting with improved inter-ministerial cooperation: progress on disaster risk management reforms is indeed not only the responsibility of the Emergency Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (EMA), but as well of all the many administrations involved in the prevention and answer to all kinds of disasters.
During the first-ever regional full-scale civil protection field exercise EU MOLDEX 2017 organized by the PPRD East 2 last September in Moldova (600+ participants), the Georgian rescue teams have brightly demonstrated they can work together with other rescue teams of the EU and Easter European Partnership Countries in case of a major international emergency operation. “Georgia has used the Host Nation Support knowledge and skills obtained within the PPRD East 2 Programme, as a host nation in August when dealing with the forest fires, and then in September as a sending nation when we sent our rescue team to participate at the EU MOLDEX 2017 exercise”, said Mr Nikoloz Siradze, Director of EMA and PPRD East 2 Steering Committee member, “We have activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM), and I would like to thank all countries that helped us in fighting the forest fires this year.” It was specifically to address this important objective of brining Georgia closer to EUCPM that the PPRD East 2 called a 4th Country Advisory Group meeting on 30 November 2017, gathering all entities involved in civil protection reforms in Georgia. With only one year left before the end of this phase of the PPRD East, it was essential all stakeholders agreed on the best way the Programme can further accompany Georgia in its disaster risk management reform agenda in 2017-2018, in its approximation to the EU Floods Directive; in drafting legal documents addressing Host Nation Support; and in developing national Disaster Risk Assessment methodology, and national Disaster Loss Data system to reflect the EU approach and the EU good practice.
The EU-funded Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters in EaP Countries (PPRD East 2) is contributing to the peace, stability, security and prosperity of the Eastern Partner Countries. It is also aimed to protect the environment, population, cultural heritage, resources and infrastructures of the region by strengthening the countries’ resilience, preparedness and response to man-made disasters and disasters caused by natural hazards.
The PPRD East 2 Programme facilitates the strengthening of disaster risk management capacities at the national level 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 million.
For more information: http://pprdeast2.eu/en/
PPRD East 2 in Georgia: http://pprdeast2.eu/en/strany-partnery/georgia/