Donna Thiessen
(703) 875-4357


GDANSK, POLAND (January 30, 2008) – Continuing the agency's commitment to assist Central and Eastern European countries in strengthening their emergency management capabilities, USTDA awarded a $171,167 grant yesterday to the City of Gdansk, Poland. The grant will be used to help assess local planning, operational and infrastructure needs for a proposed city-wide integrated emergency management system (IEMS) project.

The grant was conferred in a signing ceremony held at Gdansk City Hall. U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe and Gdansk Mayor Paweł Adamowicz signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. Government and the City of Gdansk, respectively.

Although public safety has traditionally been the responsibility of national authorities in Poland, local officials are often the first line of response in emergency situations. City level emergency management capabilities are especially vital in Gdansk, which is not only one of Poland's largest cities, but also contains the country's largest port and serves as a national shipping, trade and logistics hub.

The proposed IEMS project would establish effective communications between command and control centers and field emergency services personnel throughout the city. The new system will require advanced equipment and software to create a system capable of handling the large volumes of data and voice traffic needed to manage an emergency. In addition to assessing the requirements of implementing the proposed IEMS project, the grant will also be used to design a pilot emergency operations center. Winbourne and Costas, Inc. of Washington, DC will perform the USTDA-funded assessment.

In addition to the IEMS project, USTDA has funded similar activities elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. Last week, USTDA awarded a $700,000 grant to Romania's Special Telecommunications Service (STS) to support an extension of the STS communications network into each of Romania's counties and the establishment of national data and recovery center. In 2007, USTDA's support included a major regional emergency management and response conference in Budapest, Hungary, and a $495,760 grant to support the development of an integrated meteorological and hydrological monitoring system in Croatia.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.


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