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Lithuania Spearheads EU’s Resilience with Dedicated Medical Stockpile Facility

Lithuania Spearheads EU’s Resilience with Dedicated Medical Stockpile Facility

In an important move to reinforce Europe’s preparedness against cross-border threats and crises, Lithuania proudly announces its role in hosting a state-of-the-art facility for the European Union’s medical stockpile. Commencing from January 1, 2024, this initiative marks a pivotal step as part of the RescEU project, signifying efforts to fortify the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Supported by an allocation of 97 million euros from the European Commission, this strategic warehouse in Lithuania will store essential medical supplies. This endeavour embodies a collective commitment to ensuring safe living conditions for all Europeans amidst crises and threats that challenge our communities.

The decision by the European Commission serves as validation of Lithuania’s competency in providing invaluable assistance at the EU level.

Since 2020, the European Commission, in collaboration with EU Member States, has successfully set up medical stockpiles in 12 countries, including France, Finland, and neighbouring Poland, amplifying Europe’s readiness to combat unforeseen adversities.

This project will entail the accumulation of medicines and personal protective equipment within Lithuania. These resources stand ready to aid any EU country confronting crises threatening the health of its populace, first responders, healthcare providers, and civilians, encompassing various threats including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incidents.

In cases where resources are insufficient to address escalating threats, affected member states can seek additional support from the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC). The ERCC, in conjunction with the European Commission, orchestrates the evaluation and distribution of supplies, deployment of expert knowledge and resources, and crucial financial and technical assistance.

Within Lithuania, this endeavour will be overseen by the Ministry of Health and the Health Emergency Situations Centre (ESSC), working collaboratively with the Ministry of the Interior, the Fire and Rescue Department, the National Crisis Management Centre, the State Medicines Control Service, and other crucial institutions.

The agreement signed on November 24 paves the way for implementation, marking the project’s inception on January 1, 2024, with a duration of 33 months. The Health Emergency Situations Centre (ESSC) will play a crucial role in ensuring prompt dispatch of aid shipments to disaster or crisis areas within 12 hours of receiving an assistance request through the EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre.