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EU launches new European Medical Corps to respond faster to emergencies

Monday, 15 February 2016 13:03 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The European Union today has launched the European Medical Corps to help mobilise medical and public health teams and equipment for emergencies inside and outside the EU.

Through the European Medical Corps, EU Member States and other European countries can make medical teams and assets available for rapid deployment when an emergency strikes – thus ensuring a faster and more predictable response.

"The aim of the European Medical Corps is to create a much faster and more efficient EU response to health crises when they occur. We need to learn the lessons from the Ebola response; a key difficulty was mobilising medical teams," said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Christos Stylianides who is hosting today's high-level inauguration event in Brussels.

"I thank all the Member States that have already contributed so far, and encourage others to join so the EU's response will be able to meet increasing needs and will allow for better planning and preparation before any disaster."

So far Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands have committed teams and equipment to the European Medical Corps. This voluntary pool includes emergency medical teams, public health and medical coordination experts, mobile biosafety laboratories, medical evacuation planes and logistical support teams.

Read more on the website of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

Follow #EurMedCorps and @eu_echo.