Over the past decade, 80 000 people in the European Union have lost their lives due to natural disasters. In addition, the economic damage of these disasters amounts to €95 billion. Natural disasters are not the only threat – man-made disasters such as nuclear incidents, oil spills or chemical accidents can have a deep impact on both society and the environment.
When disasters strike, a quick and well-coordinated response can make the difference between life and death. It is therefore crucial to strengthen governments ability to act swiftly and effectively. This includes the identification of risks and vulnerabilities, as well as developing a thorough contingency plan for likely scenarios. The plan should include clearly defined roles and responsibilities for everyone involved at all levels of society, such as a national coordination centre, police, telecommunication providers, hospitals and schools.
All countries face the risks of disasters although their nature may vary by regions. Sharing experiences and know-how across countries is an important part of disaster preparedness in various fields, such as search-and-rescue, fighting forest fires or ensuring nuclear safety.
We aim to improve disaster resilience in Europe
The Grants support the implementation of international obligations, recommendations and standards. This includes activities such as:
- Mainstreaming of disaster risk management to support resilience investments
- Development and improvement of national acts and regulations based on international recommendations and commitments.
- Development of national, regional and local risk assessment systems
- Cross-border cooperation on risk management policies and practices, and on disaster impacts
- Strengthening of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear safety and security
The exchange of knowledge and experience is essential for building know-how and increasing disaster prevention and preparedness in Europe. Organisations from the donor and beneficiary countries are therefore encouraged to cooperate through the programmes.