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Finland sends international rescue service expert assistance to Equatorial Guinea

Ministry of the Interior
11.3.2021 8.32 | Published in English on 11.3.2021 at 15.32
Press release 27/2021
Rescuers training.

The Ministry of the Interior has decided to send two experts to Bata, Equatorial Guinea, where an explosion at a munitions depot has caused extensive destruction. Equatorial Guinea has requested international assistance in the rescue operations following the explosion accident. The Emergency Services Academy Finland will serve as the employer of the posted experts.

By a decision of the Ministry of the Interior, the Emergency Services Academy Finland will send two experts trained in international rescue operations to the region as part of the Finnish-Swedish team of the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) network. The team is tasked with supporting the work of United Nations Disaster Assessment and coordination (UNDAC) experts.

The experts' tasks include support duties in ICT and information management in particular. Finnish experts have a wide range of expertise in ICT and information management as well as in duties related to rescue and security operations in general. According to a preliminary estimate, the mission will last for approximately two weeks.

An explosion occurred at a munitions depot in Bata, Equatorial Guinea on 7 March 2021, causing extensive destruction across a wide area. According to the current information, the death toll is nearly 100 casualties, with more than 600 injured. 

Finland is an active provider of expert assistance

International rescue operations refer to the provision of assistance to other countries and acceptance of assistance in Finland under international treaties and legislation in a natural or man-made disaster or accident when the affected country lacks adequate resources. Finland is a member of the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) network with seven other European countries.

The Ministry of the Interior decides on the sending of international assistance related to rescue services. The Emergency Services Academy Finland Emergency Services Academy Finland is responsible for the training, recruitment and logistics of experts and the practical implementation of international rescue operations.

Inquiries: 
Laura Hokkanen, Training Officer, Emergency Services Academy Finland, tel. +358 50 439 1067, [email protected] (operational details related to the mission and international rescue operations)
Pekka Tiainen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 456 4477, [email protected] (international rescue operations)