Completion of the project DIRECT – DIsaster REsilient Communities and Towns

A closing conference of the project DIRECT – DIsaster REsilient Communities and Towns was organised in Budva on 26-27 March with the aim to present the main results of the project which was implemented in Montenegro, The Czech Republic and Slovenia. The aim of the project was to improve preparedness of local communities, institutions and services for more efficient response to a growing number of natural and man-made hazards. The Conference was attended by representatives of the project partners, protection and rescue services, educational institutions and other relevant services.

During the project which started on 1 January 2017, numerous activities were implemented directed at building capacities for more efficient response to natural and other disasters, including eight international trainings for rescuers on topics such as protection and rescue in case of fires, floods, earthquakes, etc., four international field rescue drills, trainings on disaster risk reduction for representatives of local authorities and educational institutions, three international conferences on topics related to disaster risk reduction, development of evacuation plans for schools and institutions, evacuation exercises, awareness raising campaign, a study visit to EU, etc.

Within the awareness raising campaign, special attention was devoted to children and youth as a very important target group when it comes to education on topics related to disaster risk reduction. To that end, a series of workshops was organised for them during which they had the opportunity to learn about risks from certain hazards and appropriate response, as well as the adequate measures in case of some of the hazards. Also, they were familiarised with the work of protection and rescue units and institutions. In addition to workshops, literary and drawing competitions were organised in each target country as well as a joint drawing competition and the best students were awarded with valuable prizes.

Apart from the above mentioned activities, one of the most important results of the project is the improvement of international cooperation in the area of disaster risk reduction which enabled exchange of experiences and good practice models both between institutions and services dealing with protection and rescue and rescuers who often face the same challenges and tasks in their work.

The project DIRECT – DIsaster REsilient Communities and Towns was implemented by FORS Montenegro and the Directorate for Emergency Management of the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro, in partnership with the Protection and Rescue Service of the Municipality of Kranj from Slovenia, Fire and Rescue Brigade of the Moravian-Silesian Region of the Czech Republic and Czech Association of Fire Officers. The project was funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) of the European Commission (DG ECHO).

Photos of the Conference can be viewed ovdje.