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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Together, one step ahead of tropical storms: how the Netherlands stepped up to help Madagascar

When tropical storms in 2022 thrust Madagascar into an extremely vulnerable situation, they requested assistance from the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Disaster response experts from all over Europe, including the Netherlands, travelled to the island to help. Advance preparation and a swift response protected people from suffering even more. 

Preparing local communities 

We’re stronger when we respond together

We’ve gone through the same training, which is helpful, but we come from different cultures, we have different ways of working and different experiences.

Erie Braakhekke

“That kind of diversity can make working together more challenging, but it’s also a great strength. We all bring something to the table – expertise, a point of view, an idea – and we’re stronger when we’re all there, working together,” she says.

Preparing for the future




disaster preparedness actions



Education and preparedness are crucial to ensuring that communities that regularly face extreme weather can survive the storms and respond effectively. This is why the EU allocates more than €75 million of its annual humanitarian funding to targeted preparedness actions

This funding includes investing in projects like Vonona, which aims to reduce avoidable deaths and injuries caused by weather hazards. Along with creating disaster risk reduction plans that help keep students safe, the programme trained artisans to construct traditional houses that meet anti-storm standards. 

By investing in early warning systems and strengthening national and local response capacities, the EU helps countries like Madagascar be prepared. 

In 2021, the EU invested €76 million in 101 disaster preparedness actions in 30 countries. 

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