Cyprus Mail

Civil defence receives international certification

File photo

Cyprus’ civil defence has received international certification for its provision of humanitarian assistance during natural disasters abroad.

The civil defence announced that it managed to secure the INSARAG External Classification certification from the United Nations Office, which means the force meets international standards in its response to search and rescue operations after natural disasters both in Cyprus and abroad.

The certification is also recognised at a European Union level.

The training and certification process lasted four years and was completed on Sunday with a final exercise in Larnaca.

Evaluators on behalf of OCHA INSARAG monitored the response of the civil defence rescue team to a series of complex scenarios and assessed its high level of knowledge and operation readiness on the basis of the UN OCHA guidelines, known as INSARAG guidelines.

According to the official website, “the INSARAG Guidelines provides a methodology to guide countries affected by a sudden-onset disaster causing large-scale structural collapse, as well as international USAR Teams responding in the affected country.” The guidelines also outline the role of the UN in assisting affected countries in on-site coordination.

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