Representatives from the Mediterranean countries have visited the facilities of the Spanish National School of Civil Protection
Improving prevention and response to both natural and man-made disasters. With this objective and to confront in a coordinated manner crises that transcend borders, the directors of the Schools of Civil Protection in the Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territory) have met in Madrid at a meeting organised by the European Union-financed cooperation project on prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. In addition to the countries mentioned, the European countries participating in this project were also present at the event: Spain, France and Italy.
The meeting has strengthened the ties and collaboration between national schools, as well as facilitating the exchange of experiences. The participants have had the opportunity, with the support of the General Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergencies, to visit the facilities of the Spanish National School of Civil Protection, as well as the 112 service of the Community of Madrid and SAMUR (Municipal Emergency and Rescue Assistance Service) and the Madrid City Council Civil Protection Service.
This project, which started in 2018, is implemented in 8 countries in the Middle East and North Africa with collaboration from the Directorates General of Civil Protection in Spain, Italy and France, the French agency Expertise France acts as the coordinator and has FIIAPP and CIVIPOL as collaborators. The objective is to strengthen national capacities to reinforce resilience to all hazards and threats through training activities, legislative, operational and institutional advice, as well as supporting cross-border cooperation frameworks.
This action responds to the needs of the civil protection services whose intervention is needed in an increasingly complex context conditioned by multiple geopolitical and socioeconomic factors in addition to natural ones (floods, fires, droughts, etc.). All this marked by the pandemic, which represents an added difficulty in disaster management.
Cooperation is one of the essential elements of this project, not only at the level of the participating countries, but also with other initiatives in the regions targeted for intervention so that synergies and complementarities are generated that have a greater impact and sustainability. Furthermore, the approach is based on the needs and demands of each partner country making it possible to adapt activities to these and not vice versa, thus generating an appropriation of the knowledge and tools. Which is why, although the project is reaching its final phase, the countries have sown good seeds in their disaster prevention and response systems.