European Union Health Task Force (EUHTF)
Functions of the EU Health Task Force
The EUHTF will support EU/EEA countries, other partner countries and international organisations in the following areas.
Timely emergency response during outbreaks and crises related to communicable diseases or diseases of unknown origin including:
- remote support and rapid in-country field deployment,
- support for outbreak investigations and response,
- provision of science-based recommendations,
- support for operational research and
- provision of guidance, protocols, resources, and tools.
Strengthening countries' emergency preparedness including:
- development, testing and updating of preparedness protocols and plans,
- assessment of preparedness gaps through self-assessments and external evaluation of country preparedness and response planning,
- simulation exercises,
- in-and-after action reviews,
- tailored capacity-building activities and trainings.
Activities outside of the EU/EEA will be operationalised in collaboration with the European Commission, in particular DG ECHO, and/or the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed shortcomings in the European Union mechanisms for managing public health threats, including a lack of readily available resources for timely deployment to emergency settings.
The strengthened ECDC mandate establishes the creation of an EU Health Task Force (EUHTF) as a deployable public health work force providing effective operational response and crisis preparedness support to EU/EEA countries and wider global health security. The Task Force will support countries and international organisations in responding to emergencies during outbreaks and crises in a timely manner.
ECDC will establish and coordinate the EUHTF, with the support and collaboration of the European Commission, EU/EEA countries, and international organisations.