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The EU Celebrates 20th Anniversary of its Disaster Preparedness Day

On the occasion of the International Disaster Risk Reduction Day, the EU,  together with State Security and Crisis Management Council and its partners, celebrates 20 years of Disaster Preparedness programmes.

To mark the 20th anniversary of its DIPECHO programme, the EU, State Security and Crisis Management Council and DIPECHO partners will organise a ceremony on 13 October coinciding with International Disaster Risk Reduction Day. The ceremony will take place at the “EXPO Georgia” in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Representatives from international and local organizations will participate, including representatives of the authorities of Georgia the Emergency Management Agency under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Health and Social Affairs.

‘Saving lives and livelihoods by preparing for natural disaster’ has been the core principle of the European Commission’s disaster preparedness programme “DIPECHO” since 1996.

“We are happy to contribute to the DIPECHO programme for 20 years that helps to prepare people to natural disasters and increase their resilience to emergencies. Disaster preparedness and recovery are essential to saving lives”, said Juha Auvinen, Head of Unit of the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations 

The fourth phase of the programme to “Improve Resilience of Communities and Institutions in the South Caucasus” has recently started.

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This programme funded by the EU and managed by its Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) is implemented in cooperation with four partner organizations: the Danish Red Cross (implementing partner Georgian Red Cross Society), Oxfam, Save the Children, and Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund Deutschland (ASB).

The programme aims at increasing resilience and reducing the vulnerability of communities and local institutions in areas prone to natural hazards, with a special emphasis on children, women and youth. It hopes to boost the local capacities of communities to better prepare for and respond to disasters. In addition it will further develop disaster management and risk reduction in education and national security planning.

 The concerted efforts of all partners involved in the implementation of this programme will also strengthen cooperation among stakeholders and foster the sharing of best practices in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The programme is implemented in close coordination with the government of Georgia as well as regional and local authorities to encourage the development of DRR policies and legislation for disaster risk reduction and sustainable programme interventions.

About EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid.

Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

The European Commission ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: humanitarian aid and civil protection.

The Commission, through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department, helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year.

With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs.

Launched in 1996, the Disaster Preparedness ECHO programme (DIPECHO) is the core element of ECHO’s DRR global efforts, in which it has thus far invested €325 million. The key goal of the programme is to increase communities’ resilience and reduce their vulnerability. DIPECHO is a people-oriented programme, helping communities at risk of disasters to better prepare themselves by undertaking training, establishing or improving local early warning systems and contingency planning. It also encourages citizens, civil society groups and local, regional and national authorities to work more effectively together.