Antonio Barbera (DPC) – IPA FLOODS Programme Manager
In your role as Program Manager, you have had the opportunity to coordinate and closely follow all the preparations including the practical and theoretical aspects that guided the seven HCP and FC national teams that made up their respective modules on their way to IPA FLOODS – VARAŽDIN 2017. What was the biggest difficulty you encountered? If any of the Countries in the Region shall face a flood emergency, what changes you can foresee in the management and response to such emergency?
I feel I can say that the major issues faced during the exercise preparation phase were on the one hand those related to the handing-over of the equipment in combination with the instruction provided by the Consortium and the familiarization of teams with the overall functionality of the materials and on the other the structural challenges that most of the beneficiaries cope with in relation to the availability of appropriate transportation means. Despite all the challenges faced, I believe that all teams, with support by Consortium experts and trainers, made the most out of the exercise and ensured that this was a meaningful capacity building opportunity for all. As far as future flood emergencies in the region, although it’s a bit too early to assess the prospective actual impact of IPA FLOODS, there’s no doubt that this programme made a concrete contribution to improved flood response capacities. In this respect we should take into consideration not only the donation of the necessary response equipment but also the effort to start a process of multi-country coordination in view of possible future deployments. Of course this was only a starting point for the beneficiaries that would deserve additional investments through external opportunities to be continued.