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CBRN-COE
Project

Project 087 (IfS): Preparedness and Response for Mass Gatherings and other Health Threats in Central Asia - PRECA

Context

Mass Gatherings have the potential to threaten health security across the world, both in developed and less-developed countries. In recent years, more Mass Gatherings are taking place, greater numbers of nations are hosting them, and participants are travelling from an increasingly large and distant number of countries. All of these factors introduce new challenges to national and international health security, especially when dealing with infectious disease outbreaks such as influenza or coronavirus outbreaks, or CBRN events.

The COVID19 crisis has dramatically highlighted the need for managing mass gatherings, early warning, communication, data exchange and coordination between countries. In several regions, different countries took different measures against the pandemic. Managing mass gatherings is especially important in the region of Central Asia, due to cultural, historical, religious reasons, during sports events, etc. The likelihood of deliberate CBRN events cannot be neglected as well.
The realm of mass gatherings is complex and very diverse, as are the issues associated with them and thus the tools that can be envisioned for planning and response.

Preparing for Mass Gatherings present host countries with an invaluable opportunity to raise their preparedness and their compliance with IHR (2005) and other related to CBRN materials international instruments by improving existing health systems. Activating preparedness measures, learning from the early experience of neighbouring countries and preparing coherent public communication are some of the possible cross-border activities. This project will focus on Mass Gatherings preparedness and response.

As the topic is very broad, the project will initially select, with active input from the Partner Countries, some on the following components:

A.    Protection of Food and Water

B.    Chemical, Biological and Radiological incidents, and Poison Centres 

C.    C3: Command, Control and Communication

D.    Testing and Exercising (which will cover the results of phase 1 gaps selected in components)

E.    Infection Prevention and Control

F.    Procurement and Deployment of countermeasures (devices, Personal Protective Equipment, CBRN detection devices)

G.    Disease surveillance and outbreak response 

H.    Risk and crisis public communications, “community engagement” 

Objectives

This project proposes actions to reinforce health preparedness and response in Central Asia through CBRN preparedness and response in the context of Mass Gatherings.

Specific objectives:

  • to support preparedness, risk management and crisis coordination activities by linking and informing public health authorities about relevant events which may need coordination of measures at regional level;
  • to serve as a tool to build and maintain a network of high-level public officials who progressively trust one another by virtue of realizing that they face common problems within their respective institutions and across the region, and share best practices;
  • to foster a common understanding of the needs and challenges of Partner Countries; this, in turn will foster cooperation and assistance if needed, increasing security, peace and prosperity in the region.

Stakeholders

Coordinators

European Commission

European Union External Action Service

United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

Participants

This project is part of a pre-existing EU activity in the regions and has not resulted from the submission of a CoE project proposal. Due to the different origin of the project, not all countries involved are CoE partner countries.

** This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

*** This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.