The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) expects more missions abroad in the coming years. “We are preparing for stronger, perhaps longer-lasting operations,” said the new THW President Sabine Lackner to the German Press Agency. In 2023 there were ten. "There is an increasing trend."
The emergency services helped with the severe earthquake in Turkey in February and the floods in Slovenia in the summer. According to Lackner, the transport of relief supplies in the Ukraine war is one of the unprecedented logistics operations in the history of the THW.
More than 4000 volunteers
“However, help must be accepted,” said Lackner, referring to the earthquake in Morocco. THW helpers were ready to leave, but the North African country did not request the German forces. According to its own information, the aid organization can rely on more than 4,000 volunteers for missions abroad.
“We clearly see the effects of geopolitical situations, i.e. crises, conflicts, but also climate change,” said the THW President. For example, there are no forces in Ukraine itself and aid supplies are being brought to the border. “We do not send our helpers into war situations.”
In view of the foreign missions, Lackner says that when purchasing new technology, care must also be taken to ensure that it can be transported by plane. There are also questions about whether all the documents for transport are available in order to fly quickly to disaster areas. “For example, when we treat drinking water, we also move hazardous substances.”