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International News

International trends and current developments in international civil protection are important for THW. In the following messages, you can find out where THW is internationally active and what news there is.

Ceremonial handover of the keys, with THW Adviser JCC Franziskus Bayer, THW Liaison Officer Florian Gottschalk, Vice Consul Christofer Burger and the JCC Director Hoshang Mohamed (l. to r.).

More mobility with new vehicles

The THW presented the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) in northern Iraq with three new, well-equipped vehicles yesterday. The JCC is a governmental agency in the autonomous Kurdistan Region and will use these vehicles for mobile mission coordination.
more: More mobility with new vehicles …
Currently the THW is assisting six camps in the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq.

Emergency Accommodation and “WASH” – Humanitarian Assistance from the THW

“With our technical and logistical expertise, we are ready to help whenever people are in need,” declares THW President Albrecht Broemme today on World Humanitarian Day. The current refugee situation is placing particular demands on the THW – at home and abroad.
On August 26, 1966, a THW relief mission to Turkey started.

Fifty years after the 1966 earthquake in Turkey

More than 2000 people lost their lives as a result of the severe earthquake in eastern Turkey on August 19, 1966. Many more were seriously injured and tens of thousands lost their property. On August 26, 1966, a THW relief mission to Turkey started. 30 volunteers from the local sections in Bonn, Cologne and Dortmund took part, primarily working at the devastated hospital and administration buildings in Hinis.
For more over a decade the THW cooperates with the WFP.

Worldwide networks of disaster relief assistance

After flooding, earthquakes or other disasters, rapid and specific assistance is vital. This is why the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been working together with the THW and other German organisations as part of a Cluster Approach to providing relief.
Hand in hand, interculturally: In northern Iraq, THW operatives from Germany work hand in hand with THW employees from the local region.

Brick replaces canvas – THW Vice-President in northern Iraq

On behalf of the German government, the Technische Hilfswerk (THW) is providing assistance to establish refugee and transit camps for Syrian refugees in the autonomous Kurdistan Region in northern Iraq. This support began in 2013, and currently the THW is assisting six camps. During a four-day visit, Gerd Friedsam, Vice-President of the THW, gained an impression of the work performed by THW operatives. Particularly interesting was a trainee programme for new international volunteers.
After the earthquake in India 15 years ago, SEEBA experts from the THW rescued two people from the rubble.

Fifteen Years Ago: Completion of Earthquake Deployment in India

On January 26, 2001 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck regions of India and Pakistan. 30 THW operatives from the Rapid Deployment Unit Search and Rescue Abroad (SEEBA) set off with six rescue dogs immediately after the disaster. After their arrival in Gujarat, India, they were able to rescue two people from the rubble. The next phase of the operation saw the THW provide the local population with drinking water until July 2001, acting on the instructions of the GIZ.
The two THW reconaissance teams completed their work in West Africa.

Ebola epidemic: THW's investigators back from West Africa

In the last few days, the two reconnaissance teams from THW returned from West Africa to Germany. On behalf of the Federal Government, since the beginning of October, they had investigated on site how THW can support the fight against the Ebola epidemic.
The concrete and safe handling of ladders is part of the training in Tunisia.

Export hit honorary office: start of third training course in Tunisia

Since this week, more than 50 Tunisian volunteers have expressed their delight in honorary office commitment during the third training unit in Ben Arous near Tunis. Until the beginning of November, with the support of THW-staff, the volunteers will undergo THW’s basic training, aligned to local circumstances. At the launch on Monday, the German ambassador to Tunisia visited the project.
THW and ONPC, giving training for Tunisian volunteers.

Tunisia: Start of basic training

Supported by THW, training for voluntary Tunisian civil protection staff has started. Until 13 September, 45 voluntary members of rescue teams underwent THW’s basic training in the mountain region of Jendouba. The training has been adapted to the Tunisian system.
The participants in the VinCaB-project.

EU-VinCaB: Starting micro projects

The joint EU-project of civil protection and disaster management organisations as well as Red Cross societies for micro projects in South America and Kosovo is being launched. In the frame of the Volunteers in Capacity Building Projects (VinCaB), the first THW volunteer will leave for Columbia today.
One of the main concerns of THW is the close cooperation with the cicil protection organizations of neighbouring states.

Sought after service provider for the EU

Take 27 EU-member states, five other European countries and thousands of operational staff members. The result is the EU-Mechanism as a central instrument of civil protection at European level. THW’s personnel is always present. Again, to strengthen the cooperation between the players, numerous exercises are planned for 2013.
The project partners, together with Mr Jürgen Weidemann (1st row, 2nd on the right), Head of Unit, in section Crisis Management and Civil Protection at the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Final conference of the CBRN-project in Madrid

Operations after CBRN-incidents represent a special situation which differs from other crises. The invisible threat imposes a double physical and psychological pressure on the emergency staff. Nevertheless, psychosocial crisis management has been neglected so far. Therefore, a project, which is co-financed by the EU-Commission, has dealt with this topic since 2011under the auspices of THW. At the final conference in Madrid, from Tuesday to Thursday, more than 50 experts from 15 EU member states discussed the results gained to date.
The earthquake resistance of the GIZ-offices was tested in Tadzhikistan.

THW supports GIZ in Tadzhikistan

By order of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), THW-expert advisors tested its office buildings in Tadzhikistan for earthquake resistance. The reason for the activities is the fact that the Central Asian Republic has consistently been devastated by earthquakes.
In Tunis, THW-President, Mr Albrecht Broemme (2nd from left) signed with the Director General of the Tunisian civil protection authority (ONPC), General Fradj Louati (r.), the cooperation agreement between THW and ONPC.

Cooperation between Tunisian ONPC and THW

In Tunis, on 13 December 2011, the Director General of the Tunisian civil protection authority (ONPC), General Fradj Louati, and the President of THW, Mr Albrecht Broemme, signed at the Ministry of the Interior of the Tunisian Republic a cooperation agreement concerning the cooperation of ONPC and THW. The Tunisian Minister of the Interior, Mr Habbib Essib, and the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr Horst-Wolfram Kerll, were present at the ceremony. The agreement is the result and, at the same time, the peak of an intensive cooperation between Tunisian civil protection and THW, which started in 1988 with THW-operations after a flood disaster in Tunisia.
Partner in Europe

Ten years of EU-mechanism – ten years of European solidarity

For 10 years, the EU-Mechanism has guaranteed EU-wide cooperation in the field of civil protection. Today an international conference in Rome will take stock and establish the so-called EU-Mechanism for the future. Besides Ms Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis reaction at the European Commission, THW-President Mr Albrecht Broemme will also take part in the event.
On site, THW closely cooperates with local volunteers.

South Sudan: Operations extended until end of the year

THW’s operation in South Sudan will be extended until the end of the year. Originally, the mandate would have expired in autumn. Together with local volunteers, THW is building accommodation in the South Sudanese capital of Juba for civil employees of the United Nations (UN). The assignment is financed by the Foreign Office.
Almost 6,000 kilometres from Berlin, Mr Markus Löning, human rights and humanitarian aid commissioner of the Federal Government, visited the THW-volunteers in Ethiopia.

Human Rights Commissioner visits THW in Ethiopia

On Wednesday, Mr Markus Löning, commissioner of the Federal Government for human rights and humanitarian aid, caught up on THW’s relief measures in Ethiopia’s Dolo Ado. On behalf of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), THW operates in Dolo Ado, among other things, a garage and supports the supply of the refugee camps with water.
Local volunteers are building accommodation.

South Sudan Relief Extended

THW’s operation in South Sudan will be extended until the end of September. Since the end of March, THW has supported the peace mission of the United Nations (UNMISS) in the capital of Juba with the building of accommodation for civil UN-staff. Initially, the end of THW’s mandate had been planned for the end of August.
With their drinking water treatment units, THW volunteers support people across the world, when water is scarce.

World Water Week: Water as a Global Challenge

Under the motto “Responding to Global Challenges – Water in an Urbanising World“, the World Water Week brings this essential commodity to the public’s attention: An increasing number of people need more and more water. At the same time, drinking water resources are becoming scarce, and the pollution of water increases. THW is ready for international emergency operations to help with its drinking water treatment units.
Together with local volunteers, THW works on the rehabilitation of the infrastructure in Haiti.

THW-Help for Haiti: Strengthening of Civil Protection

More than six months after the serious earthquake of 12 January, about one million people still live in emergency accommodation. Together with Haitian civil protection, THW therefore carries out infrastructure measures in order to make emergency camps more secure before the approaching hurricane and rain season. Meanwhile, THW has completed its drinking water treatment.
Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)

THW President Albrecht Broemme: Overjoyed about Release

“I’m overjoyed to hear the news about the release of our two staff members in Nyala. Now we can breathe more easily again. Both of our colleagues are well, considering the circumstances, and they will soon return to Germany.”
Ensign of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief.

Federal Ministry of the Interior Press Release: Great Relief Thanks to Release of THW Staff

Dr. de Maizière, German Federal Minister of the Interior: “I am very happy and extremely relieved to hear that the two THW staff members are now free, and I would like to thank everyone involved in their release for their excellent work.”
Ensign of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief.

Foreign Minister Westerwelle Relieved After Release of Kidnapped German Nationals in Sudan

Responding to news of today’s release of the two German nationals who were kidnapped in Sudan, Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Guido Westerwelle said in Ljubljana: “I am very happy and relieved to hear that the two kidnapped German Technische Hilfswerk staff members are free again.”
In July 2006, THW cooperated with the German Embassy to support authorities in Cyprus with the care of refugees from the Lebanon. It also helped German citizens to make, e. g., arrangements for the continuation of their travel.

Project Start: Procedure concerning the Evacuation during a Disaster

Catastrophes and crises abroad: How can a country move its citizens as quickly as possible into safety? From 9 to 11 November, 35 international participants from 21 different nations dealt with this topic in Bonn. The cause for the meeting was the first international, cross-departmental workshop of the EU project on “European Support for Evacuation, Reception and Movement – SERM”. THW-President, Mr Albrecht Broemme, underlined the importance of the project for every citizen of the EU.
After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding.

Consolidation of German-Italian Cooperation

The cooperation between Italian civil protection and the Federal Agency for Technical Relief has been given a solid foundation. Yesterday in Rome, the department head for Crisis Management and Civil Protection in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Dr. Manfred Schmidt, and the head of Italian civil protection, Mr Guido Bertolaso, signed a corresponding Memorandum of Understanding. “Thanks to the further exchange of experiences, we can learn a lot from each other. By doing this, we are in a position to develop bilaterally measures to prevent and fight catastrophes“, said THW-Vice President, Mr Rainer Schwierczinski. The signing of the contract was done in the presence of the military attaché of the German Embassy in Rome, Mr Harald Guta.
After the signing of the contract: THW-President, Mr Albrecht Broemme, and Mr Martin Ohlsen, Director of the logistics department of the World Food Programme.

World Food Programme of the United Nations and THW Close Cooperation Contract

Prepared for a catastrophe: After having worked together for five years, THW-President Mr Albrecht Broemme and Mr Martin Ohlsen, Director of the logistics department of the World Food Programme of the United Nations, sealed their cooperation with a contract. The contract, which was signed at the headquarters of the World Food Programme in Rome, regulates the assignment of THW-experts to catastrophe areas to support logistics units of the United Nations.
The Bavarian Minister President, Mr Horst Seehofer starts the operation of the new village well in Onna. He is accompanied by Mr Bernd Urban and thw President of thw regional volunteers association, Mr Stephan Mayer, who is also member of the Bundestag.

Bavarian Minister President Visits Italian Earthquake Region

The Bavarian Minister President, Mr Horst Seehofer was shocked when he was confronted with the still omnipresent major destruction in the Italian earthquake region. On Wednesday, the Bavarian Minister President visited the village Onna which had been particularly affected by the earthquake in Abruzzi in April. During a talk with THW operational staff, he got the latest news about the progress of THW’s emergency aid work. The aid work, as part of an expert exchange, has supported the Italian civil protection for three months.
Representatives from eight countries and the European Commission came to Bonn to participate in the introductory conference of the EU-project "European support in the context of evacuation, admission and transport procedures”.

EU-Project: Evacuation in the Event of Catastrophes and Crises

How can a country bring citizens to safety as quickly and safely as possible, who are affected by a catastrophe or a crisis abroad? Last Tuesday, the international participants who took part in the introductory Bonn conference on the EU-project “European support in the context of evacuation, admission and transport procedures” dealt with this issue. The project which is partly financed by the European Commission is managed by THW on behalf of the European Union (EU).
The mission leader of Italian civil protection, Mr Agostino Miozzo (right front) shows the Federal Minister of Transport, Mr Wolfgang Tiefensee, and the German ambassador in Rome, Mr Michael Steiner, the extent of the damage in Onna.

The Federal Minister of Transport Visits THW-Team in Earthquake Area

As part of his visit to the Italian earthquake region in L´Aquila, the Federal Minister of transport, Mr Wolfgang Tiefensee, visited on Monday the German team of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief in Onna. During a talk with the THW-team and representatives of Italian civil protection, he underlined the importance of a close cooperation and of an exchange of experiences in the context of disaster fighting measures.
In the presence of THW-President, Mr Albrecht Broemme (left), the Deputy Azerbaijanian Minister for Disaster Prevention, Mr Faig Taghizada, signs the visitor’s book of the regional office of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt.

Delegation from Azerbaijan Visits Berlin

On Tuesday, THW-President Albrecht Broemme welcomed the Deputy Minister for Disaster Prevention of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr Faig Taghizada, and his delegation at the department of the regional office of Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt. The guests from the Caucasus, including members of the Azerbaijan Embassy, were particularly interested in the voluntary structure of German civil protection. Volunteers from the local section in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf were ready to answer questions and presented technology and vehicle equipment.
Dieter Held (front left), SEEBA volunteers and the representative regional volunteer representative for Hessen, Ronny Buechner, gtz, and THW-Head of Section, Klaus Buchmüller, took part in the ASEM workshop on behalf of Germany.

International ASEM-Workshop in Chengdu

With a workshop about the creation and development of catastrophe prevention structures, China continued at the end of May its commitment to international cooperation in civil protection. Two THW representatives took part in the three-day international event at the Asia-Europe-Meeting (ASEM) in Chengdu.
THW-President Albrecht Broemme (second from the left) visited a conference organised by the Czech partners in civil protection.

THW-President visits Czech Partners in Civil Protection

Last Saturday, THW-President Albrecht Broemme was a guest speaker at an expert conference organised by the civil protection of the Czech Republic. The event took place in Podebrady which is situated in the centre of Bohemia, east of Prague. The Czech partners were interested in the experiences of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief with operational after-care and, above all, with the work with volunteers. 
Dr. Jürgen Steiger and Dr. Astrid Skala-Kuhmann from the GTZ China sign, together with the Secretary-General from the State Council, Mr Ma Kai, and the Vice-President of the CNSA, Mr Wei Liqun, the agreement.

Disaster Control Agreement with China

Germany and China have taken another step forward in their efforts to expand their cooperative relations in the context of civil protection. On Tuesday, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the national Academy for Administration (CNSA) signed an agreement about the creation of a faculty for disaster control in Peking. THW’s President Albrecht Broemme promised his support for the optimisation of Chinese civil protection.
Participants from 13 EU-states took part in the course which had been organised for team leaders of disaster control modules in Slovenia and Croatia.

THW-Course for the EU in Slovenia and Croatia

Today the first course for team leaders responsible for disaster control modules was completed with an evaluation morning. The course was part of the European Mechanism and took place in Slovenia and Croatia. Since last Saturday, 22 participants from thirteen EU states – including four THW-representatives – have been educated. The course consisted of a theoretical part and cross-border exercises.
THW volunteers distributed drinking water to the residents of Bei Shan.

Sharing skills and knowledge to protect the population

Germany is to become an important partner in the development of the Chinese civil protection infrastructure. Dr. Manfred Schmidt, Head of the Department for Crisis Management and Protection of the Population at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, THW President Albrecht Broemme, and the President of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Response (BBK), Christoph Unger, all travelled to the People's Republic of China last week at the head of a delegation whose mission was to present and explain the structures in place in Germany to deal with natural disasters and other issues of civil protection. This working visit is related to a three-year project currently being prepared by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GTZ).
The 25 young Chinese guests watch with interest as the youth group from THW local section Bremerhaven carries out a demonstration.

Chinese guests visit THW

In October a delegation from the China National School of Administration (CNSA) met THW representatives during its three-day visit to Germany. THW Vice President Rainer Schwierczinski welcomed Hong Yi, the Vice President of the CNSA who ranks as a Vice Minister, and his delegation in Bonn, where they took part in an exchange of ideas.
38 participants from Germany and Russia took part in the youth meeting in the Russian taiga.

Mammoth bone discovered in the Russian taiga

Last week a group of 15 young THW members from North Rhine-Westphalia discovered a mammoth bone in the Russian taiga. The bone is estimated to be 60,000 years old. The girls and boys from THW Youth have been working together with Russian youth in an environmental project called "EcoDesant" since July 12.
THW President Albrecht Broemme (4.f.r.) and BBK President Christoph Unger (l.) in Bonn welcoming General Mohamed El Hawwery (m.) and Colonel Mohamed El Gendy (4.f.l.) during their visit to Germany.

Egyptian delegation informed about civil protection

An Egyptian delegation has been visiting the BBK (Federal Agency for the Protection of the Population and Disaster Relief) and the THW since July 8. In Bonn, THW President Albrecht Broemme and BBK President Christoph Unger welcomed the group, which is led by General Mohamed Talaat Hafez El Hawwery.
GTZ Managing Director Dr. Bernd Eisenblätter (m.) and THW President Albrecht Broemme (2nd from r.) signed the new framework agreement.

New contract agreed for international co-operation

A framework agreement has been signed to provide a new foundation for the well-established cooperation between the GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH) and the THW (Federal Agency Technische Hilfswerk). GTZ Managing Director Dr. Bernd Eisenblätter and THW-President Albrecht Broemme met in Bonn today to sign the new contract.
THW President Albrecht Broemme (l. to r.) and the UN OCHA delegates Arjun Katoch and Thomas Peter, exchanging views in Berlin.

Preparation for international training session in Dubai

In Berlin, the THW President Albrecht Broemme and representatives of the United Nations (UN) held a joint interim progress meeting for the INSARAG Regional Group Africa/Europe (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group). The THW is currently Chair of the Regional Group, acting for the Federal Republic of Germany.
22 participants from 14 nations were trained in the workshop.

4th Train the Trainers Workshop in Malta

For the fourth time since its start in March 2006, a workshop for national trainers took place within the framework of the European Virtual Academy (EVA). Conducted by the German Federal Agency of Technical Relief (THW) this time in close cooperation with the Civil Protection Department (CPD) of Malta, the primary aim is to familiarize representatives of the national training schools with the EU Community Mechanism, as for instance its training system. Thus creating a side effect on the local level: the national trainers and Training Coordinators will operate as multipliers in their own country, transferring and applying the knowledge about the EU Mechanism to local structures.
As part of a joint project between the THW and the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a training centre in Freetown was ceremonially opened in October.

Training centres in Sierra Leone opened

As part of a joint project between the THW and the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), a training centre in Freetown was ceremonially opened in October. Marginalised young people will be able to receive training as vehicle mechanics there. Currently,  THW is carrying out projects in Sierra Leone, Sudan and Liberia on behalf of the United Nations (UN), the German Foreign Office and other relief organisations.
The THW will carry out an EU twinning project supporting the Romanian civil protection administration in the domain of flood management.

THW to carry out EU twinning project in Romania

In 2007/2008, the THW will carry out an EU twinning project supporting the Romanian civil protection administration in the domain of flood management. The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) will be the implementing agency of the project that was proposed by the Federal Republic of Germany in 2006. An additional aspect of the project will regard the promotion of volunteer involvement in the Romanian civil protection system. Romania will become an EU Member State on January 1, 2007.
EU-volunteers: Represantatives from Great Britain and Germany.

“EU Volunteers”: support for volunteer commitment

The European Union intends to strengthen the volunteer commitment in civil protection. In this context, the project “EU Volunteers” was initiated at the end of 2004. Last Friday the responsible steering committee met in Oberwinter near Bonn. The project has the goal of assessing the working conditions of volunteers- in  European civil protection organisations and to explore opportunities for support and structural improvements. Covered in the second meeting were issues such as the presentation of the civil protection system of each country represented in the steering committee, the general progress of the  project, and the organisation of the forthcoming international workshop at THW’s national training school at Neuhausen in March 2006.
THW-President Georg Thiel with representatives from the PSP.

The Technische Hilfswerk and PSP: Cross-Border Cooperation

The cross-border cooperation between Poland and Germany in the area of disaster control continues to be strengthened. With the exchange of experts and instructors, as well as joint activity within the scope of EU measures, the already existing German-Polish cooperation is intended to receive a broader foundation.

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