On next 24 January, the implementing Consortium of the EU-funded Programme for Prevention, Preparedness and Response to Floods in the Western Balkans and Turkey IPA FLOODS is convening in Skopje the Third Steering Group Meeting with kind support by the Protection and Rescue Directorate of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Mr Shaban Saliu, Director General of the Macedonian Protection and Rescue Directorate, will welcome participants while Ms Biljana Zuber, Programme Officer from DG ECHO and Mr Luigi D’Angelo, IPA FLOODS Programme Director will co-chair the meeting.

Since the last Steering Group held in Sarajevo on March 2016, IPA FLOODS carried out and successfully completed the activities planned in the framework of the Programme Lot 1 and prepared the ground for implementing the operational phase of Lot 2 that will run until January 2018.

It is worth mentioning that this Steering Group Meeting is officially the last one convened under Lot 1 that officially ended on last 31 December. Indeed, in Skopje the members of the Steering Group – Focal Points in the Beneficiaries, partners of the implementing Consortium and the EC DG ECHO – will review Programme progress with focus on the outcomes from Lot 1 implementation, along with the latest developments and the way forward in Lot 2.

As main partners in charge of the activities in Lot 1, representatives from the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief of Slovenia and from the National Protection and Rescue Directorate of Croatia will present to the Steering Group Members the main features and results achieved within the activities aimed establishing, training and exercising the multinational Civil Protection Modules for flood response – Flood Rescue using Boats (FRB), and facilitating their deployment through Standard Operational Procedures along with appropriate arrangements for border-crossing and Host Nation Support.

As the last under Lot 1, the Meeting will gather for the last time the Programme National Focal Points in charge of IPA FLOODS component on capacity building for EUFD approximation. CIMA Research Foundation, the Consortium Partner in charge of this component, will illustrate to the whole audience the main results achieved after two years of fruitful cooperation with the Beneficiaries. Moreover, in the afternoon, a parallel session will be aimed to discuss a road map for future regional actions in disaster risk management, with focus on Flood Risk Management.

Finally yet importantly, at stake in Skopje there are also the activities under Lot 2 related to the development of multinational Civil Protection Modules for High Capacity Pumping and Flood Containment (HCP-FC) that will close with another Regional Field Exercise foreseen next fall.