24 May CIVIL SECTOR ROLE IN FLOOD-EMERGENCY SITUATION KEY AND CRITICAL

The role of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in emergency situations such is the one in floods-affected Serbia EU considers as crucial both in needs assessment and in the reconstruction aftermath, officials of both EU Delegation to Serbia and EU Civil Protection Team said.

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“The role of NGOs for me, having done a number of missions both internationally and nationally is key and critical and they bring an absolute value as an actor to any intervention,” Divisional Officer of the EU Civil Protection Team (EUCPT) Terry Webb said.

“International NGOs, but more importantly local NGOs because they  understand a community dynamic, they understand how the delivery works, they understand the things that people like me coming into a country do not understand, so their role is key and one of most important,” Webb said.

Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport said civil organisations’ “tremendously important experience that has been accumulated over the last years in the whole range of areas… can be put to good use now.” He encouraged NGOs to continue taking part in needs assessment following the floods, praising their work in the previous days.

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“We see the role of civil society really as a very crucial and fundamental both in needs assessment and in the recovery effort as obviously this needs to be a joint effort by all the actors – national authorities, civil society and the international partners,” Head of Operations in the EU Delegation Martin Kern said.

The EU’s approach is to work very much through the national authorities, Kern said, recommending the civil society organisations to “join forces together with national authorities and coordinate with them and to see where can be the best value added for you to help with the needs assessment and later with recovery and reconstruction work.”

Source: europa.rs

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