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Earthquake aftermath: the European Commission

New Zealand earthquake aftermath: the European Commission activates EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Upon New Zealand's request, the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union has been activated today. It will coordinate European assistance to New Zealand which suffered from a devastating earthquake on February 22. The 31 states that participate in the Mechanism have been informed about the needs on the ground and the Monitoring and Information Centre of the European Commission stands ready to streamline their offers of assistance.

Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, stated: "The European Union is ready to help New Zealand cope with the consequences of this major disaster. Together with our Member States, my services will work to provide the requested assistance in the fastest and most efficient possible way".

The authorities of New Zealand have requested help in three areas – temporary sanitation (camp toilets, pumping systems, pipes), the provision of temporary housing and demolition.

Background:

The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response. 31 participating states in the Mechanism (EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. When activated, the Mechanism ensures the coordination of assistance interventions inside and outside the European Union. Such activities are coordinated by the European Commission through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC). Since its creation in 2001, the Mechanism has been activated for disasters in Member States (like the forest fires in Southern Europe in 2009) but also worldwide, including recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.

For more information: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/civil_protection/civil/index.htm

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Election Day: Make Sure You're A Part Of It!

Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years.

“The people and parties we elect tomorrow will be making the decisions that affect us, our families and our communities,” says Robert Peden, Chief Electoral Officer. “It doesn’t get much more important than that, and we need all New Zealanders to use their voice and vote.”

Voting places will be open from 9.00am until 7.00pm on election day. The busiest time at voting places is usually 9.00am - 11.00am.

“Take your EasyVote card with you when you go to vote, as it will make voting faster and easier, and vote close to home if you can. But don’t worry if you forget your card, or didn’t receive one, because as long as you are enrolled to vote, your voice will be heard,” says Mr Peden. More>>

 

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