The European Union will launch a number of initiatives with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to reinforce joint disaster response and risk reduction in the disaster-prone region.
The mutual commitment was confirmed during a visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, by EU humanitarian and crisis response commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, who met with ASEAN’s Secretary-General and representatives of the Indonesian government.
Among such initiatives is a €4 million ($5.44 million) facility on mitigating disasters and exchanging knowledge on resilience to natural calamities called the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Initiative.
Aside from disaster response, the EU is working on building disaster resilience in Asia through its Disaster Preparedness Program.
Over the past 30 years, Asia Pacific has suffered 91 percent of the world’s fatalities and 49 percent of the global damage caused by strings of natural disasters, according to the EU.
“The challenge is impossible to address for each nation on its own. We need to work together to prepare for the worst, we need to cooperate in responding to disasters when thy strike, and we need to come together as one to help the victims rebuild their lives,” Georgieva said.
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