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Regional Conference Looks at Building Safer Future Following Recent Civil Protection Exercise

On 7-8 February, rescue team leaders, exercise planners, and experts from the EU and Eastern Neighbourhood countries met in the Czech capital Prague to discuss lessons learnt from the recent full-scale field exercise EU MOLDEX 2017.

Organised in September 2017 in the Republic of Moldova, the exercise aimed to train civil protection experts and teams from the six Eastern Partner countries on the international assistance procedures developed there with the help of the programme.

The “Lessons Learnt” conference in Prague was attended by 45 representatives from the countries that participated in the exercise, together with a team of international experts acting as advisors.

The importance of regional cooperation in the field of civil protection was stressed by Major General Drahoslav Ryba, Director General of the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic, who opened the conference by stating: “I consider regional cooperation as very important, because the affected state is not always able to cope with the current emergency situation. In such cases, the assistance from neighbouring states is very welcome.”

EU MOLDEX 2017 and the Lessons Learnt conference in Prague were organised in the framework of the EU-funded “Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Natural and Man-made Disasters in the Eastern Partnership Countries” (PPRD East 2) programme.

The PPRD East was designed to contribute to the peace, stability, security and prosperity of the Eastern Partner countries. It aims also 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. Currently in its 2nd phase, the PPRD East Programme facilitates the strengthening of disaster risk management capacities at national level in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, strengthens regional cooperation among the Partner Countries, and brings the Partner Countries progressively closer to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This 2nd phase runs from 2014 to 2018 with a budget of €5.5 million.