As auxiliaries to their national authorities, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies play a key role in disaster management planning and response mechanisms. Their civil protection responsibilities vary between countries, depending on the domestic context. National Societies deliver emergency services and a wide range of humanitarian activities, including first aid, ambulances, psychosocial support, and search and rescue. They work to strengthen people’s resilience by improving prevention and preparedness or reducing the effects of disasters. Upon request from the host National Society in another country, Red Cross EU Office members also deliver speedy assistance around the world. Based on this expertise, they cooperate with the European Commission Directorate General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO) to improve synergies and reduce duplications in emergency response in third countries.
The EU and Member States are working together to increase preparedness and reinforce responses to better protect European citizens. Resources are pooled through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) to provide coordinated assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters both inside and outside the EU. We support our members in their operational cooperation with ECHO and its Emergency Response Coordination Centre, while maintaining continuous dialogue with civil protection stakeholder in relation to legislation, policy, and operational activities.