On 26 June 2020, personnel from NATO Headquarters/Sarajevo and the US Armed Forces delivered protective equipment and disinfectant to the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen the Sarajevo International Airport capacity to run safe air operations, against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The delivery followed a request for support from Bosnia and Herzegovina, through the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), NATO’s main civil emergency response mechanism. The Centre operates on a 24/7 basis, coordinating requests and offers of assistance. Since the start of the crisis, the EADRCC has coordinated requests from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and 16 NATO and partner countries, resulting in dozens of offers of assistance.
Through NATO’s EADRCC, Bosnia and Herzegovina has in the past weeks and months received assistance from several NATO Allies and partners – including Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia (via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism), Turkey and the United States. The provided aid consisted of facemasks, overalls, test-kits, disinfectant, tents, field-beds, sleeping bags and electric heaters.
Bosnia and Herzegovina also takes part in NATO’s Next-Generation Incident Command System (NICS) to coordinate national responses to the COVID-19 crisis and provide the public with real-time information and advice. The NICS system is part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project “Advanced Regional Civil Emergency Coordination Pilot” (ARCECP), a collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL), the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the nations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.