EU establishes new medical stockpile in Sweden
– This is yet another example of how Sweden is in the frontline when EU strengthens its collective preparedness, says Dan Eliasson, Director General at MSB.
MSB is tasked to stockpile medical equipment including personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facemasks and gowns, as well as ventilators. The equipment can be used in crises, when the needs exceed the member states’ own resources.
– We are pleased and proud that EU has trusted Sweden and MSB with this task. MSB has a long experience working with strategic warehousing and quick response in crises. This assignment is a proof our ability, says Dan Eliasson, Director General of MSB.
Great need among the member states
The need for a rescEU medical stockpiling capacity was clearly emphasised by the Covid-19 crisis. It became evident that several member states lacked this kind of equipment. The project is 100% financed by the EU and the budget amounts to over 38 million Euro.
Cooperation with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration and National Board of Health and Welfare
As the EU aims at geographical distribution of the stockpiles, Greece, Hungary and Denmark have also been assigned with similar tasks. In addition, there are already established rescEU stockpiles in Germany and Romania. One of MSB’s advantages is the long experience from warehousing and fast response, nationally as well as internationally. In addition, MSB has already established a strategic warehouse in cooperation with the European Union External Action Service, in the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Both the CSDP Warehouse and the rescEU medical stockpile are based in Kristinehamn.
MSB leads the project and is responsible for stockpiling as well as for transport of requested material. The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, is responsible for procurement including quality assurance. FMV has a long experience of similar tasks, and has assisted the civil society during the Covid-19 crisis. The National Board of Health and Welfare supports MSB and FMV with expertise regarding medical equipment and how this kind of equipment is best stored.
- The assignment is valid for five years; the project started the 1st of September 2020.
- The total budget is EUR 38, 3 million, of which EUR 33, 3 million are allocated to the purchase of equipment.
- The initially planned storage area is approximately 5,000 square meters.
- There are already existing rescEU medical stockpiles in Germany and Romania. In addition to Sweden, stockpiles will be established in Denmark, Greece and Hungary.
Facts on rescEU
- rescEU is a common reserve of capacities at EU level, aiming at boosting the preparedness and response capacity for different types of crises, including forest fires and pandemics.
- All requests for assistance on PPE and medical equipment pass through EU and the Emergency Response Coordination Centre in Brussels. Sweden might, as all other countries, request assistance through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism.
- Swedes already hosts aerial forest fire capacities for rescEU.