On 29 September, the European Union conducted a two-day full-scale civil protection field exercise in Lviv, simulating a cross-border response operation to a major chemical accident.
More than 250 first-responders from Latvia, Poland, Moldova and Ukraine were trained together to enhance transnational cooperation capacities and prepare for a potential multi-hazardous disaster to hit the region in the future. The exercises were financed under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which facilitates cooperation in disaster prevention, preparedness, and response.
“In fact, preparedness is a key element to save lives, reduce the disaster’s impact for the affected population and the environment. When a disaster overwhelms a country’s capacity to respond, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism stands ready to coordinate European assistance such as expert teams and equipment to the affected region,” said Felix Bloch, Head of Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations.
Since 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated more than 500 times to respond to emergencies, including to channel assistance to Ukraine following last year’s devastating floods.
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