Mr. Mikael Mattila: Host Nation Support – Crucial element of national resilience and disaster preparedness

Planning Officer Mikael Mattila, Southwest Finland Emergency Services 

This article relates to critical infrastructure in times of crisis and the mechanisms to conduct cross-border rescue and relief activities. While the COVID-19 pandemic affects all countries simultaneously, this so-called Host Nation Support mechanism of the European Union may not come into widespread use in this case.

Host Nation Support – Crucial element of national resilience and disaster preparedness

“When a natural or a manmade disaster hits, the affected countries sometimes have to rely on the solidarity of others by requesting international assistance. In such cases, the government of the affected country issues a request to the international community.

We all know about these disasters through news, or even experienced such a situations ourselves. Possibly, we have donated money for a cause after a massive earthquake or a widely destructive tsunami. It is very common after a disaster that the influx of assistance, from the international community, is abundant.

The receiving nation, as a sovereign state, always has the right to choose and select the form of assistance it receives from another state. In some cases, the amount of incoming assistance or number or relief teams runs a risk of overwhelming the local authorities and their handling capacities. By doing this, we as the international community create a situation where we generate more issues in the existing situation.”

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Planning Officer Mikael Mattila

Mr. Mikael Mattila is the Planning Officer of Host Nation Support (HNS) project at the Southwest Finland Emergency Services (SWFES). The overall objective of the project is to develop an operating model and a training package for situations when SWFES needs international or national help to handle an emergency situation.

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