EU, Liberia CBRN National Action Plan Validates New Findings Today

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A cross section of participants and trainers at the CBRN new National Action Plan W/shop in Monrovia.

Suggests possible ways to mitigate challenges 

The European Union (EU) in collaboration with a host of Liberian stakeholders will on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, conclude a three-day action plan validation on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN), as well as explosives dangerous to environment and people.

The workshop, which began on Monday, April 8, 2019, at a resort in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, is expected to come to an end with emphasis placed on risk mitigation.

Professor Martin Scott-Tabi, Desk Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs,  said this year’s CBRN exercise brings to an end last year’s strategic action plan for the implementation of ideas to mitigate risks posed by the use, and disposal of chemicals that tend to threaten the environment.

Mr. Martin Scott-Tabi, principal deputy for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Tabi said as last year’s action plan comes to an end, a new action plan validating specific findings to prepare government ministries and agencies, as well as the private sector to fight against the lack of controlled CBRN, is in the offing.

“Yesterday marked the end of an era in the CBRN risk mitigation exercises, which began in 2013, and marked the beginning of a new project, which is the validation of needs assessed on the first workshop of the national action plan,” he said.

Tabi said the a group of focal persons at the event will draft a national action plan to make Liberia’s input from line ministries and agencies on the gaps identified so that European Union will tailor specific training, and its co-sponsors and founders to support the country to have a concise CBRN society where chemicals locations are known by their quantities in line with best international practices.

He said the primary benefit for ordinary people is that those who receive EU sponsored training will understand the need to be careful with chemicals and other biological and radiological materials.

“Liberia may not have that much risk of CBRN, but it is a transit zone for those chemicals, mainly with ships coming in and anchoring at the country’s ports,” Tabi said.

According to him, said it is great challenge that Liberians do not have education in the country on nuclear risk, therefore, the need for first aid connected to nuclear items, in case there is explosion, cannot be over-emphasized.

Juan Antonio Frutos Goldaratz, EU head of political affairs, press and information section of the delegation to Liberia, said the CBRN Action Plan is supported by the EU initiative to reduce risks related to the CBRN materials through the eight centers of excellence, which bring together 61 countries.

“The objective of this initiative launched in 2010, is to support partner countries to develop and strengthen national capacities, internal coordination, and regional and international cooperation to address their challenges and reduce their risks related to CBRN materials,” Goldaratz said.

He added that the initiative seeks to help partner countries prevent, be prepared and respond to CBRN-related incidents, of criminal, accidental or natural origin.

He said the EU is encouraging and supporting Liberia and other countries to develop their national action plans, and strengthen their capacities to reduce risks related to CBRN materials.

The participants were drawn from the Liberia National Police (LNP), soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), and representatives from the Ministry of Health (MoH).

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