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A new project that aims to promote community preparedness and response for emergencies through the creation of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) was launched last month with partners from Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, according to a press release from the EU Delegation to Israel. CERTs will be developed, trained and jointly exercised in 12 communities in the three entities, thus facilitating a more effective response to any type of potential emergency. The project is sponsored by the EU’s Partnership for Peace Programme, which has provided funding of €400,000.
“As emergencies are characterized by a shortage of resources, local and cross-border community response must be developed in order to reduce mortality and morbidity following a disaster. Regional cooperation and collaboration has been shown to be the most efficient component of an emergency response, as the time frame for reinforcement of local resources is crucial for saving lives. The proposed project strives to develop regional collaboration targeted at developing and empowering community emergency response in the Middle East,” explained Dr. Bruria Adini, director of the project.
“The new project grew out of the three-year project that focused on Jordan-Israel Collaboration in Disaster Preparedness and Response and was completed in November 2012. The major achievements of this collaboration were 14 Jordanian students that graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Emergency Medical Services, joint Jordanian-Israeli standard operating procedures for a joint response for natural disasters and a cadre of Jordanian and Israeli first responders and volunteers that were trained and exercised together to provide an effective emergency response,” she added.
The objectives of the project are as follows:
1) To develop trained first responder teams in rural communities in Jordan, The Palestinian Authority and Israel that will provide life-saving services in disasters in rural communities;
2) To develop joint Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for cross-border collaboration of communities during disasters;
3) to generate collective knowledge that leads to common best practices in disaster management and sets the stage for cooperation, coordination and integration.
4) to enhance the resiliency of rural communities in the face of disasters;
5) to sustain and expand the activities of Development Strategy Forums (DSFs) of key emergency management stakeholders;
The project will be conducted over a period of 3 years. The first year will focus on the development of standard operating procedures and training materials, as well as on training 30 trainers (10 from each entity); The second year will be dedicated to the creation and training of community emergency response teams (CERTs) - at least 60 trainees in each entity. And during the third year, local, national and cross-border exercises will be conducted to generate knowledge and practice joint operations in response to a simulated disaster.
Middle East Peace Projects – Fiche and news
EU Delegation to Israel – website and Facebook page