9 August 2016

EU Civil Protection Mechanism activated to support the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia following deadly floods


The EU's Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated and the first EU experts are deployed onsite in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia following flooding.

Today the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has activated the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism following recent flash floods and landslides that caused multiple casualties in the outskirts of its capital city Skopje. 

A team of technical experts will be deployed on 9 August to assess the damage caused and to provide recommendations to the national and local civil protection authorities.

"The EU stands ready to support the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia at this time of need. Right now we are in contact with the national authorities in Skopje and the other participating states in the Mechanism to coordinate a swift response to the request. We are already sending a humanitarian expert today and a civil protection team will follow as of tomorrow. I encourage offers of assistance to come in as quickly as possible. We're also prepared to provide humanitarian assistance in case needed" said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is coordinating assistance through the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism to assist the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In addition to the deployment of experts, the Commission also provides Copernicus satellite imagery to the emergency services operating in the affected areas.

Background

On 6 August, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was struck by major flash floods. 93 mm of rain fell in Skopje in the storm - more than the average for the whole month of August. The flash floods caused 22 deaths and many injuries. Homes and key infrastructure are severely damaged and over one thousand people had to be evacuated.

Humanitarian partners of the Commission are present in the country to support the EU response and to further assess humanitarian needs.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the cooperation in disaster response among 34 European states (28 EU Member States, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Norway, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey). These participating states pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism coordinates the provision of assistance inside and outside the European Union. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through its Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was already badly hit by flooding in August last year and received assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

For more information:

EU Civil Protection Mechanism:
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/what/civil-protection/mechanism_en

Factsheet on EU Civil Protection:
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/thematic/civil_protection_en.pdf

IP/16/2765

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