EU develops strategic reserves for chemical, biological and radio-nuclear emergencies

To improve the EUs preparedness and response to public health risks such as chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, the Commission is building up strategic reserves of response capacities through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This includes a €540.5 million rescEU strategic stockpile, established in close collaboration with the Health emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). This stockpile will consist of equipment and medicines, vaccines and other therapeutics to treat patients exposed to CBRN emergencies agents, as well as of rescEU decontamination reserve to provide decontamination equipment and expert response teams. As an immediate first step, the EU has mobilised its rescEU medical reserve to procure potassium iodide tablets which can be used to protect people from the harmful effects of radiation. Already almost 3 million iodide tablets have been delivered to Ukraine via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, with the help of France and Spain. On this occasion Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management said: We are taking concrete measures to increase Europe’s preparedness in the face of potential threats. We are setting up both a decontamination reserve and a new stockpile of equipment tailored to chemical, biological or nuclear emergencies. I am thankful for Member States in this effort. Our aim is to provide rapid response capabilities for our citizens if such an emergency ever occurs.” Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, added: “Health security needs preparedness. Preparing for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats is an essential element in keeping our citizens safe, and a key element of a strong European Health Union. HERA is our watchtower and has been working around the clock to support EU actions through the Civil Protection Mechanism to provide preparedness support to Ukraine and our Member States.” More information in the press release.