Known primarily as a military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is also heavily involved in civil disaster response through its Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) which is NATO’s principal civil emergency response mechanism in the Euro-Atlantic area. It is active all year round, operational on a 24/7 basis, and involves NATO’s 29 Allies and all 21 Partners for Peace (PfP) member countries. The Centre functions as a clearing-house system for co-ordinating both requests and offers of assistance mainly in case of natural and man-made disasters.

Located at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, all the EADRCC’s tasks are performed in close co-operation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), which retains the primary role in the co-ordination of international disaster relief operations. In the case of a disaster requiring international assistance, it is up to individual NATO Allies and partners to decide whether to provide assistance, based on information received from the EADRCC. Continue reading.