As this year comes to a close, we can welcome the arrival of 12 new Europe-based UNDAC members that graduated from the last Induction Course in Spiez, Switzerland. The Europe team has been strengthened and remains the strongest regional contingent with currently 70 members under contract. It is expected that team will reach a cap of 100 members in 2017 and remains at this level until the revision of the UNDAC Strategy in 2017. While the numbers are good and redundancy needed to ensure we can meet all deployment requests, the focus  in 2016 and the years to come will focus on quality.

FCSS will ensure the European roster benefits in the most efficient manner from the numerous learning opportunities offered in Europe. Large exercises such as the INSARAG Earthquake response exercise in Istanbul in May or the IHP-led Triplex in September are only some examples of avenues to train and network amongst emergency responders. FCSS consolidation and refresher courses for UNDAC members will continue to be offered to ensure you are all fully updated and adequately equipped to hit the ground running. In parallel, FCSS is building new tools to better monitors UNDAC members engagement in the system, such as the number of times you make yourself available, go on mission, attend emergency response related events, etc. This will ensure we can better appreciate your support and engagement.

As the number of actors, tools and systems involved in the humanitarian response increases, so does the need for enhanced coordination and UNDAC support. Hence, preparing and training is an ongoing requirement for all UNDAC members. As we all know, there can’t be an efficient response without adequate preparedness, so we count on all of you to be fully engaged in 2016!