An European Union commissioner noted that the Philippine government’s pre-positioned coordination capacity for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was quickly overwhelmed, underscoring that investment in preparedness should be towards disaster of the future.
European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva underscored the need for everyone to arm themselves with a “mindset of preparedness and prevention, and immediate and effective response.”
Georgieva, in her visit here Saturday, said that one key lesson that was learned from super typhoon Yolanda is that “investment in preparedness has to be geared towards the disasters of the future.” It is unfortunate, she said, that these disasters “are likely to be even more dramatic.”
“This is a lesson for all of us to recognize that in the world of more frequent, more devastating disasters, we have to continually strive to improve our capacity to mobilize our best people for the most dangerous locations,” she the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The official added that “for every disaster of this magnitude, we need to learn and determine the areas where they have done well and where they can do better.”
“We would do a very detailed assessment once we finish the immediate relief efforts,” she said.
Nonetheless, she disclosed that in their monitoring of past disasters, they observed that “the track is going straight up.”
“It is even terrible that they are increasing in number,” she stated.
Georgieva who is responsible for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and civil protection, arrived in Tacloban City Saturday to look into the “emergency and humanitarian response.”
She said she would like to see to it that whatever contribution from their group is well coordinated and well-distributed.
“I cannot emphasize more how crucial in a disaster this magnitude of coordination,” she stressed.
Georgieva disclosed that the “very significant improvement” in coordination efforts of the Philippine government after its “prepositioned coordination capacity was very quickly overwhelmed by the event.”
She assured that the continuous support they will extend to the Philippines, which prior super typhoon Yolanda, was already a recipient of funds for disaster preparedness from their union.
“We will continue to follow the assessment of this and should there be a necessity for us to bring more, we will bring more,” she committed, pointing out that the European Union team was the first to respond. (from PNA report by Perla Pena)
Photo credit: Wikemedia Commons/FishNnwater.