OAS chief regrets ‘brutal impact’ of Hurricane Sandy

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, has expressed regret at what he describes as the “brutal impact” of Hurricane Sandy on the northern Caribbean and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

In chairing a meeting of the Inter-American Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction (IACNDR), convened to discuss the impact of the killer hurricane on various member states, such as the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica and the United States, Insulza 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.”

Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, who co-chaired the meeting, called on participants to continue sharing the assessments of the disaster to identify priority areas, needs and areas of action.

He said 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.”

The OAS said representatives of affected countries expressed thanks for the show of solidarity expressed by other states.

They reported on the impact of the hurricane in their own nations, including data on property damage, loss of life, the measures taken to assist 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).

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