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Preparing for the next pandemic: the role of civil protection

Nicosia Risk Forum #NRF2020  is an innovative event for the area of South-Eastern Europe, which brings together academic, industrial, governmental, policy, and other societal stakeholders with a significant interest in societal safety. #NRF2020 “Preparing for the Next Pandemic – the important role of Civil Protection: A Regional View” was organised under the auspices of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Dr. Nikos Christodoulides.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it took place virtually on 26th November 2020.

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This year’s theme of #NRF2020 focused on Regional Collaboration in Societal Safety.  The Covid-19 pandemic and its severe worldwide implications have proven once more that the inherent risks of our increasingly complex and interconnected world significantly challenge the implementation of fundamental societal functions. As disasters have always been and will always be part of our lives, the way societies respond to them is certainly of critical importance. However, preventing such disasters from occurring, preparing for their possible occurrence, and mitigating their potential effects, is a matter of life and death. In these testing times, higher-level initiatives face challenges in delivering solutions.  Regional initiatives can provide support, much needed, at times of crises.  Traditional manmade and natural disasters will continue to occur, coupled with the risks brought-on by the pandemic. Subsequently, societal safety and national security become an absolute necessity and regional collaboration a supporting net.

In this context, València Local Police (PLV) was invited to a session titled “COVID-19 Crisis Management & Technology” to present the role of the first responders and the importance of the use of IT tools for a coordinated response in pandemic crisis management. The STAMINA project was presented as a solution to increase the capability to manage pandemic situations, including diagnosis, prediction, and decision support and on improving preparedness and cooperation of the relevant stakeholders at national, regional and local levels, within and across EU borders.