Updated: 24-Jul-2002 Fact Sheet


Enhanced Practical Cooperation
in the Field of International Disaster Relief

  1. The EAPC Policy on "Enhanced Practical Cooperation in the Field of International Disaster Relief", approved by EAPC Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 29th May 1998, builds upon an original proposal of the Russian Federation for Enhanced Practical Cooperation in the Field of International Disaster Relief as well as the NATO Policy on Cooperation for Disaster Assistance in Peacetime. The two basic elements of the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Capability are a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and a Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit (EADRU).
  2. As a result of the ministerial decision mentioned above, a small Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre has been established at NATO Headquarters, headed by the Director Civil Emergency Planning with additional staff from NATO and Partner Countries. The EADRCC is also open to representatives from the United Nations and the NATO Military Authorities. The EADRCC is responsible for coordinating the response of EAPC Countries to a disaster occurring within the EAPC geographical area in close consultation with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).
  3. The Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Unit (EADRU) will be a non-standing, multi-national mix of national civil and military elements (qualified personnel of rescue, medical and other units, equipment and materials, assets and transport) which are volunteered by EAPC Countries. The EADRU can be deployed in case of a major natural or technological disaster in an EAPC Country upon request from the stricken country or in support of a relevant international organization. The composition and size of this multinational EADRU will be determined by the requirements based on an international assessment of each particular disaster. National elements will remain under national control while deployed in the stricken country as an asset of the Local Emergency Management Agency. The area of deployment of the EADRU will be limited to the EAPC member countries. In exceptional circumstances, should there be a request for assistance for a stricken non-EAPC country, political guidance will be obtained as a matter of urgency before initiating any disaster response via the EADRCC.
  4. To ensure the effective functioning of both the EADRCC and the EADRU and in order to maximize interoperability among national elements, appropriate training and exercises will be conducted on a regular basis. National action in this area will be supplemented by measures of international activity in order to exercise the various elements of the EADRU in working together. To enhance cooperation and synergy, UN-developed programmes and projects covering procedures on mission guidelines, regulations, training and exercises, etc. shall be taken into account.
  5. The office of the EADRCC opened on 03 June 1998. It is located in the Manfred Wörner Building at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The EADRCC is presently manned by Austrian, German, Portuguese, Romanian, and Slovenian augmentees and a CEPD Staff Officer.