Romanian humanitarian assistance allocated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is emergency assistance to States in the case of disasters and protracted armed conflicts in order to mitigate the consequences on affected populations.
Response actions, Prevention and Disasters
People affected by natural disasters
on 2007: € 2.250.000; on 2012: € 234.602
Romanian humanitarian assistance allocated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is emergency assistance to States in the case of disasters and protracted armed conflicts in order to mitigate the consequences on affected populations. This including assistance in the transition from humanitarian crisis to rehabilitation and reconstruction processes. In the period 2012-2015 the budget for humanitarian aid represents 10% of the ODA allocated to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
There is a specific focus in supporting the development of neighbouring countries such as Moldova, Serbia, Georgia, Black Sea Region etc.
Prevention and intervention in natural disasters in Romania is organised by the civil protection sector. 17 out of the 32 actors listed are focussing only on national level.
The Romanian nation was formed in the early centuries of the first millennium, very much in parallel to the expansion of Christianity in its region. The long Christian tradition thus shaped the values of charity and sentiment of helping the other. The Romanian Caritas Confederation, member of Caritas Europe, is one of the most active NGOs in training specialists and intervening.
The gendarmerie units are active members of intervention in natural disasters.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs, through the General Inspectorate of Emergency Situations; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are the two government entities concerned with humanitarian action.
Humanitarian action is enshrined in Romanian law through numerous acts. These include: The Civil Protection Law (481/2004); Order no. 250 of 22nd November 2010 on the organisation of training programs on Prevention from voluntary emergency services; Resolution no. 1579 of 8th December 2005 for status approval of the volunteers in volunteer emergency services; ORDER no. 160 of 23rd February 2007 regarding activities of preventing emergency situations on local level;
Finances are regulated through Law no. 404/2006 on the financing of development assistance from the national policy of international cooperation for development; Government Decision 1052/2011 on the financing of development assistance from the national policy of international cooperation for development.
Leadership in situations of national disasters is from the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations. The work of the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations is aimed at improving the prevention and management of emergencies, in order to keep risks under control and ensure the normality of the life of affected communities. It carries out prevention and intervention activities for firefighting, extraction and first aid by SMURD service, rescuing and limiting the damage caused by floods, landslides, earthquakes, epidemics, epizootics, snow, drought, and helps people in ‘critical situations’.
For international humanitarian and development aid, the main coordination is assured by special experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Romania is represented by the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations in the Working Group of the Council of the EU Civil Protection (PROCIV); Civil Protection of the European Commission; Expert groups in the European Commission; Committee of Competent Authorities responsible for implementing the Seveso II Directive;
During the last five years, 6 public and/or private Romanian institutions have been involved in networks and partnerships financed by ECHO for intervention and preparedness projects (for training volunteers in cross-border regions - Tisza River, 2013, for “creating a common platform and a web community for sharing information and experience about how to protect the educational environment in case of disasters” 2012 etc.
UNDP Romania partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in implementing National Strategy regarding the National Policy on International Development Cooperation (2008-2010). The SNIECODA project was funded by the Romanian ODA budget.
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs , as the institution responsible for managing the national policy of international cooperation for development is the main link between Relief and Rehabilitiation as it is tasked with activities in both sections of action.
Responsible for the The National System for Emergency Situations (created in 2004, is coordinated by GIES) is organised by: Emergency Committees (national, ministerial, of Bucharest, county and local); the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations –GIES (integrative role - ensure transmission of decisions taken by the Government or by the National Committee to the central government and local authorities); Professional community public services for emergency (emergency county inspectorates); Emergency Operations Centre (permanent or temporary - is considered within ministries and other institutions in the system to ensure the flow of information before or at the time of an emergency); Commander action (unit coordinates during an exceptional event).
There are only special courses on international development in Romanian universities: except for a private university, Spiru Haret offering a course in humanitarian issues.
Most of the existing programs are in-house the content of which is focused on a national level and the main subjects are dealing with emergency situations.
The Romanian Police Academy is organising the only public masters program related to humanitarian action.
Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2010. New donors can make a difference! ROMANIAN AID. [online] Available at: www.mae.ro/sites/default/files/file/2010/brosura_(4).pdf
Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. [n.d.] Asistența comunitară,[Communitarian Assistance] Available at: http://www.mae.ro/node/16654
IGSU (GIES). [n.d.] Cooperare internationala [International cooperation]. Available at: http://www.igsu.ro/index.php?pagina=cooperare_internationala
IGSU (GIES). 2013, Raport de evaluare a activităţii desfăşurate de I.G.S.U în anul 2012 [Activity report of GIES for 2012] [online]. Available at: http://www.igsu.ro/documente/informare_publica/evaluari/Evaluare-IGSU-2012-pentru-site.pdf
Daniela Soitu, Camelia Medeleanu, Romeo Asiminei and Nina Mihalache
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University