The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza and the Assistant Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, today chaired the meeting of the Inter-American Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction (IACNDR), convened to discuss the impact of Hurricane Sandy in various Member States of the organization.
Introducing the session, Secretary General Insulza expressed his regret at the brutal impact of the storm in The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and the east coast of the United States and said the goal of the committee was "to examine the possibilities we have to respond to, define future policies on disaster reduction and encourage the exchange of information on the situation faced by the affected countries."
For his part, the Assistant Secretary General called on participants to continue sharing the assessments of the recently occurred disaster to identify priority areas, needs and areas of action, and reported that the OAS will continue to monitor the situation with special emphasis on the economic and social consequences that Member States will face, in order to increase collaboration and coordination in the response to natural disasters.
Representatives of affected countries expressed thanks for the show of solidarity expressed by other states and reported on the impact of the hurricane in their own nations, including data on property damage, loss of life, the measures taken to assist the victims, and the support they have received from other countries and international organizations.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), who reported loss figures and zones affected in the areas for which each of these inter-American agencies is responsible.
For more information, please visit the OAS Website at www.oas.org.