As of today (January 11), Belgium, the Netherlands, and Slovenia will become new host countries for rescEU medical supplies, and a second medical reserve will be hosted by Germany – already a rescEU host country. In total, there are now 9 countries hosting the common European stockpiles of medical equipment.
Supplies now include:
- more than 65 million medical masks and 15 million FFP2 and FFP3 masks
- more than 280 million pairs of medical gloves
- close to 20 million medical gowns and aprons
- several thousand oxygen concentrators and ventilators
This common European stock of lifesaving medical equipment is distributed across Europe at times of medical emergencies, for example when national health systems are overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. It has already delivered essential medical supplies to Croatia, Czechia, France, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.
“The coronavirus remains a profound health challenge in 2021 and we know from last year that we can never let our guard down. With the 4 additional rescEU medical reserves in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and Slovenia, the EU ensures that vulnerable groups and health workers receive equipment necessary for protecting and maintaining robust health systems across the continent,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.
How the rescEU medical reserve works
The rescEU medical reserve includes different types of medical equipment, such as protective masks or medical ventilators used in intensive care.
The reserve is hosted by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, and the Netherlands who are responsible for procurement.
The European Commission finances 100% of the assets including storage and transport.
The Emergency Response Coordination Centre coordinates the distribution of the supplies, ensuring it goes where it is needed most, based on the needs expressed by countries requesting EU assistance under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.