New Initiatives Strengthen Disaster Response in Indonesia

A new set of disaster preparedness initiatives were launched today by the United Nations and the Government of Indonesia to boost and strengthen the country’s response capacity.

The launching of the initiatives were spearheaded by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, and government officials.

The new set of initiatives complements the existing National Disaster Management Plan 2010-2014.

Reports say Indonesia is also one of the world’s better prepared countries, winning global recognition for its efforts to respond to, manage, and prepare for natural disasters.

SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon (left) presents Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, with an inscribed UN Ballistic Blue Helmet at the Indonesia Peace and Security Centre, where Mr. Ban delivered a lecture on UN peacekeeping.UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

“This package will further enhance the country’s preparedness capacity.” -Ms. Amos

Indonesia is prone to natural disasters, including floods, landslides, whirlwinds, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis – all exacting high human, environmental and economic losses. Led by the Government, the humanitarian community in Indonesia has maintained a strategic focus on preparedness since 2007.

The UN’s humanitarian chief encouraged other countries and donors to invest in preparedness as a way of minimizing loss of life and livelihoods.

Ms. Amos highlighted that preparedness is simply being ready to protect human life and dignity, and that is the spirit of this package, which aims to strengthen the capacity of the humanitarian community to collectively prepare for and respond to disasters in a timely and effective manner.

On 2011, there were 107 natural disasters that hit Asia and the Pacific, almost half of the worldwide total, with regional economic losses amounting to $296 billion.

UN says the Asian and Pacific region is vulnerable to many types of disasters, including floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought, storm surges and tsunamis.

During the past decade, on average, more than 200 million people were affected and more than 70,000 people were killed by natural disasters annually.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.