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What is THW?

02 Dec 2021
THW Logo

THW (Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk) is the Federal Agency for Technical Relief of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is a governmental non-profit organization belonging to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community.

Established as the German governmental disaster relief organization in 1950; its tasks are defined by federal law within the framework of civil protection, disaster control, public emergencies, and large‐scale accidents. The organization provides technical relief and assistance in Germany and abroad.

80,000 volunteers are members of THW today — among them about 15,000 kids and teens-, who spend their free time preparing to help others in need. The membership is organized under 668 local sections. Only about 2 percent of the staff is employed full-time at the headquarters in Bonn, in the 8 federal offices, 66 regional offices, the three schools and the two logistic centers. Provided with modern equipment and well-trained relief workers, THW assists at the local, regional, national and international level by a wide range of tasks. Search and rescue, flood protection, electricity supply, technical support of infrastructure, drinking water supply, command and communication, and logistics support are some of THW’s operational capacities. The diversity of its units reflects its range of operations.

THW has been active in more than 130 disaster relief operations abroad and has its own international logistics center including highly qualified personnel. To mention the recent international operations then THW teams were deployed after the devastating explosion in Lebanon, and after the cyclone Ida in Mozambique 2019.

To ensure security solutions that meet the requirements on the ground, THW also conducts its own research in cooperation with research consortia on a national level or within the framework of Horizon Europe. The aim is to explore innovative solutions that increase public security and concentrate on both prevention of damage and on crisis response measures.

Source: IFAFRI Newsletter, December 2021

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