Coronavirus: rescEU masks delivered to Spain, Italy and Croatia

Following last week’s delivery to Italy, more batches of FFP2 protective masks are being distributed this weekend to Spain, Italy and Croatia from rescEU – the first ever common European reserve of medical equipment set up last month to help countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

”We have worked around the clock to build up the rescEU reserve of medical equipment. We have already created a stock of masks. Spain, Italy and Croatia will be the first to receive equipment, but more deliveries will follow. I thank Romania and Germany for being the first Member States to host the rescEU equipment,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

Today’s support comes on top of the EU Medical Teams, masks and disinfectant already mobilised via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism as well as bilateral offers from Member States.

Romania and Germany are the first Member States to host the rescEU reserve and are therefore responsible for procuring the equipment, while the Commission finances 100% of the assets such as personal protective equipment.

In these first deliveries, already 330,000 masks have now been delivered to Italy, Spain and Croatia. More deliveries will follow.


How the rescEU capacity works

The Emergency Response Coordination Centre manages the distribution of the equipment to ensure it goes where it is needed most. In this case Spain, Italy and Croatia were selected based on the needs expressed by these countries in their requests for assistance under the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

The strategic medical capacity is part of the wider rescEU reserve, including other capacities such as aerial firefighting means and medical evacuation capacities. The rescEU reserve constitutes the last resort layer of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, which can be activated for all type of natural and man-made hazards. EU Member States, the UK (during the transition period), Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey participate in the Union Civil Protection Mechanism.