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Coronavirus: EU channels critical support to India via EU Civil Protection Mechanism

A shipment of urgently needed oxygen, medicine and equipment will be delivered over the coming days by EU Member States to India, following the country's request for support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which is coordinated by the Emergency Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission.

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The offers of support from EU Member States via the Mechanism currently include:

  • Ireland: 700 oxygen concentrators; 1 oxygen generator; 365 ventilators;
  • Belgium: 9,000 doses of antiviral medicines Remdesivir;
  • Romania: 80 oxygen concentrators and 75 oxygen cylinders;
  • • Luxembourg: 58 ventilators;
  • Portugal: 5,503 vials of Remdesivir; 20,000 litres of oxygen per week.
  • Sweden 120 ventilators.More EU support from other Member States is expected to be given in the coming days, including from France and Germany.
  • This support has been made in line with the coordinated effort by EU Member States currently underway to pool their resources in responding rapidly to tackle the alarming epidemiological situation in India.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management said: “The EU stands in full solidarity with the Indian people and is ready to do our utmost to support them at this critical time. I would like to thank our Member States that came in numerously with generous offers of help, showing that the EU is a trusted partner and a friend at times of need. The reach of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism goes well beyond the EU’s borders. Our Emergency Response Coordination Centre is facilitating the logistical arrangements and the EU will cover the brunt of the transport costs.

Background

The objective of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism is to strengthen cooperation between the EU Member States and 6 Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism. Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond and contributes to at least 75% of the transport and/or operational costs of deployments.

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Following a request for assistance through the Mechanism, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre mobilises assistance or expertise. The Centre monitors events around the globe 24/7 and ensures rapid deployment of emergency support through a direct link with national civil protection authorities. Specialised teams and equipment, such as forest firefighting planes, search and rescue, and medical teams can be mobilised at short notice for deployments inside and outside Europe.

Any country in the world, but also the United Nations and its agencies or a relevant international organisation, can call on the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for help. In 2020, the Mechanism was activated more than 90 times. For example, to respond to the coronavirus pandemic; the explosion in Beirut in Lebanon; floods in Ukraine, Niger and Sudan; the earthquake in Croatia; and tropical cyclones in Latin America and Asia.

EU and COVAX

Team Europe is committed to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and its health, social, economic, humanitarian, security and political impacts. With this approach, the EU is showing leadership, responsibility and solidarity with those most affected by the pandemic.

Team Europe remains at the forefront of global efforts to ensure international access to vaccines, with a €2.47 billion contribution to the COVAX initiative. Till date, over €40.5 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide.

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