Brussels, 15 June 2012
The EU and China launch joint project for managing disaster risks
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, today formally launches an important new project which will bring China and the European Union together to collaborate on disaster risk management.
China will benefit from European expertise in strengthening its national system of disaster risk management while both sides profit from much closer dialogue and cooperation in this area. The project will help decision-makers and administrations in China to deal with the challenges of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and post-disaster management. The result will be a regular exchange in real-time on capacity-building and science and technology, including on early warning and forecast tools.
Commissioner Georgieva said: "For us at the European Commission, and for our Chinese counterparts, it is both practical and mutually beneficial to cooperate in disaster management – and this project proves this. Preparing adequately for disasters, mitigating their impact and providing an effective response and relief to the affected people are all essential elements of sustainable development and good governance.
"I hope our cooperation will also extend to other parts of the world where both the European Union and China act as donors of humanitarian relief," she added.
During her visit, the Commissioner will also hold meetings with State Counsellor Ma Kai, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Water Resources, Civil affairs, and the Chinese Academy of Governance.
EU-China Disaster Risk Management project
After the 2008 devastating earthquake in Sichuan the European Commission offered its support to China's disaster risk reduction work. In November 2010, in the presence of Commissioner Georgieva and State Counsellor Ma Kai, the European Union and the Government of China signed a 6 million EUR Financing Agreement to establish the "EU-China Disaster Risk Management" project. Funds come from the Development Co-operation Instrument (DCI). China is providing 3 million EUR of in-kind support to the project. It will be implemented by a European consortium selected after a call for direct grant proposals. The project is closely supervised by the EU Delegation in Beijing.
EU-China cooperation in humanitarian aid and civil protection
Between 1995 and 2010, Commission funding of EUR 25.8 million was provided in response to floods, snow storms, droughts and earthquakes which hit China. In June 2011 the Commission contributed to the International Federation of the Red Cross's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund after floods and mudslides in Gansu Province
In the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, China requested international assistance to support its rescue and relief effort. EU Member States immediately responded with civil protection assistance, deployed to China through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The Mechanism facilitated the delivery of 20 544 tents, more than 40 000 blankets and many other relief items. Two teams of European experts were deployed on site to facilitate the handling of assistance arriving on more than 20 flights from Europe. Support for the victims was also provided through 2 million EUR of humanitarian aid which was spent on food, shelter, water, sanitation, health and essential domestic items.
For more information
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)