Under the PASSA with the Romanian Ministry of European Funds, the EIB has completed an advisory assignment for a €678 million project that will strengthen disaster preparedness capability in Romania.
Natural hazards pose a great challenge for all EU countries, but Romania is particularly vulnerable. The risk of earthquakes and floods there is one of the highest in Europe. Due to climate change, flash floods and droughts in rural areas are becoming even more frequent. The good news is that a lot can be done to prevent and reduce the effect of disasters.
With the EIB’s help, Romania has been stepping up its disaster risk preparedness. The Romanian authorities have been working together with the EIB Project Advisory Support Team to prepare a €678 million investment application for necessary equipment and training centres. Co-financed by the European Commission, the investment should be completed by 2023 and ensure that first responders reach emergency sites faster and intervene more efficiently. For instance, the provision of modern equipment to the country’s fire brigade will reduce response times by 10% or more (depending on the type of intervention). This may seem like a marginal improvement, but in a disaster situation every second counts. This will bring down the annual total of fatal cases by 144, mainly as a result of faster responses to fires and road accidents and improved search and rescue.
Once the project has been completed, firefighters and technical rescue teams will have new equipment for terrestrial, aerial and naval interventions, four training centres and a national centre for disaster response coordination.