The European Union and Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) seek to increase cooperation in humanitarian assistance with a joint project.
Speaking at the introductory meeting of the project yesterday, AFAD Chairman Mehmet Güllüoğlu and the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger, stressed the importance of cooperation between Turkey and the EU in humanitarian assistance.
EU Civil Protection Mechanism and Technical Assistance to AFAD in Strengthening the Institutional Capacity and Improving the Disaster and Emergency Management System Project has been co-financed by the EU and Turkey since 2016.
"AFAD is a very important and reliable partner institution for us. We have succeeded with AFAD on lots of projects, especially in the Syrian crisis. We hope that we will continue to strengthen these projects with AFAD," Berger said.
He added that cooperation between Turkey and EU in post-disaster management, usage of resources and pre-disaster preparations have increased significantly.
Berger stressed the importance of sharing experiences in this field.
"Turkey and the EU have advanced experiences in disaster and post-disaster recoveries. Both the EU and Turkey lent a hand to each other in disasters. Now, we are combining our forces," he said.
The purpose of the project is to strengthen AFAD's institutional capacity and the operation issues of the disaster risk reduction and emergency management cycle. The joint project will enhance cooperation in pre- and post-disaster operations.
Güllüoğlu said that AFAD has reached an international standard as a global humanitarian institution.
"Turkey has reached the top level with 2,000 search and rescue teams at 25 logistics warehouses in compliance with EU standards. Turkey has also become a country that took humanitarian relief to the world," he said.
Furthermore, Director-General of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) Monique Pariat, who joined the meet via videoconferencing, expressed the EU and Turkey's common goals.
"There is no limit on disaster. These are our common problems and the purpose of the EU and partner countries is to become organized in the fastest way and act when disasters hit. That's why international partners like Turkey are crucial to this program," she said.