New York, November 03, 2014.- United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, concluding a two-day mission to China today said the world can learn a great deal from the Asian country’s experience in building disaster management and response capacity.
A wrap-up press release from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Ms. Amos heads, noted that every year China suffers from serious floods, droughts, typhoons and earthquakes, so there has been substantial investment in developing its disaster management capabilities including forecast technology and emergency planning.
China has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in managing natural disasters, and is one of a small group of countries that is able to deploy a ‘heavy’ international search and rescue team with the operational capability to handle difficult and complex technical search and rescue operations.
“I thank China for their contributions to humanitarian crises in the region and around the world and look forward to our continued collaboration,” said Ms. Amos, who is also UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.
“We have a very close relationship with China and I have had very useful discussions with Government, the diplomatic community, humanitarian and private sector partners on how together, we can address the humanitarian challenges the international community continues to face,” said added.
During her visit, Valerie Amos met Vice-Premier Wang Yang, Minister of Commerce, Gao Hucheng, Vice-Minister of Civil Affairs, Jiang Li, China Earthquake Administration Vice-Administrator, Xiu Jigang, and other senior officials, to discuss ways of strengthening the partnership between the UN and China on disaster management.
Discussing growing humanitarian needs across the world and the humanitarian challenges facing the international community people with students, representatives of civil society, philanthropic organizations and the private sector at an event at the Communications University of China, Ms. Amos said, that as global demands increase, humanitarian organizations are becoming more diverse and that new actors and sectors are getting involved in preparedness and recovery.
“Here in China, a robust philanthropic movement is emerging, and foundations are increasingly influential players in both domestic and international disaster response work. We need to work together to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard,” she said, noting that this is why Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon is convening the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, in 2016, to “to set an agenda for future humanitarian action.»