Cuba’s Performance in Disaster Prevention Highlighted at UN
- Submitted by: manso
- 02 / 11 / 2011
Cuba sets all possible measures in the eve of every weather event that might hit the country. Joseph Deiss, president of the United Nations General Assembly highlighted on Wednesday in New York the work carried out by Cuba, Chile and Japan in the prevention of natural disasters.
The top authority of the UN emphasized that it’s encouraging to see how some countries assume that task and show that these events not necessarily have to become disasters, the Prensa Latina news agency reported.
While referring to the increase in the frequency and intensity of these events –causing the loss of human lives and damage-, Deiss recalled the earthquake in Haiti and the rains and floods in Pakistan, Brazil and Australia.
He asserted that these catastrophes have a greater impact in developing countries, where infrastructures are weak and the capacity of response is low.
During the plenary meeting, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that no country or city, rich or poor, is immune to these events, but that the poorest have the greatest challenges at the time of recovering from the social and economic impact of these disasters.
An article published on the www.rebelion.org Web site points out that Cuba, a nation of limited resources and blockaded by the United States for almost 50 years now, has saved many lives during severe natural phenomena, thanks to planned and centralized organization and the participation of the masses.
In September, 2004, the island was hit by Hurricane Ivan, the fifth largest hurricane in the history of the Caribbean. Almost two million people were evacuated –over 15 percent of the country’s population- and nobody died, an operation described by the UN at the time as a “model in disaster prevention.”
During his address, Ki-moon reiterated the importance of learning from cities and countries that have demonstrated how to reduce risks, and also from those less fortunate, the calamities of which have are thought-provoking for mankind.
According to data provided by the UN, there were 370 natural catastrophes in the world in 2010, with more than 300,000 deaths, 200 million victims, and losses of over 110 billion dollars.