Monday, June 25, 2007

US and Spain sponsor humanitarian response center

The US and Spain are sponsoring a disaster response center for Central America which is being located at El Salvador's international airport. From a US State Department press release:

In response to the recurrent natural disasters plaguing Central America, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), with support from Spain and the United States, inaugurated a regional humanitarian response center in San Salvador June 21....

U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer said, “We all know that Central America is vulnerable to natural disasters. We cannot prevent them. However we can be ready for them when they happen.”

To be ready for the next disaster, WFP has secured a 1,500-square-meter warehouse at San Salvador's international airport to stock emergency food and supplies. Currently, the facility holds 150 tons of high-energy biscuits – enough to feed 100,000 people for five days – as well as 22 water tanks, inflatable boats, and kitchen and hygiene equipment.

According to WFP Logistics Manager for El Salvador Andrew Stanhope, warehouse space also will be available to other humanitarian relief agencies such as CARE, UNICEF and World Vision. He told USINFO that it makes no sense for various organizations to stock and ship their emergency supplies independently. This often results in duplication of efforts and unnecessary transport costs.

WFP is leading the U.N. reform efforts in the area of logistics, Stanhope said. By consolidating emergency relief supplies from various U.N. agencies and other organizations in one location, it can reduce costs and increase efficiency of delivery.

Stanhope already has made contingency arrangements with local transportation agencies to ship supplies to any part of Central America on a moment's notice. And, although he prefers overland shipments, he also has direct access to the San Salvador airport runway. The plan is to have supplies delivered to the emergency zone within 24 hours of a disaster and provide critical first-response assistance until other aid arrives.

The logistics manager said he already is laying plans to expand the operation to a 2,500-square-meter facility nearby. WFP also is developing a project to establish a disaster-management center to serve as a regional training facility on emergency preparedness, risk management, analysis of vulnerabilities and analysis of needs, early alert and information management systems and standard operating procedures in an emergency.

The United States and Spain are the two largest donors to the new humanitarian response center, providing 25 percent and 43 percent of the funding, respectively.

This is the kind of neighbor which the US should be to the rest of the countries in the hemisphere.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are 100% right Tim. If the United States had spent 10% of the IRAQ budget (so far) on humanitarian efforts and goodwill worldwide...they would be received as heros.

Anonymous said...

And if the U.S. put 100% of the Iraq war budget towards humanitarian efforts and goodwill we would be received as what worldwide? Saints? Saviors? Revolutionaries? Doing penance and paying reparations for all the wrongs, death, and destruction caused by U.S. foreign policies and military interventions? An empire and unipolar power gone good?

Anonymous said...

sometimes I let my imagination get the better of me and I think of all that could have been dome with the $300-$400 BILLION that has been 'wasted' so far in Iraq. I do charity work in ES every summer, and I see what can be accomplished with relatively few dollars. Our budget to build a house in ES is about $2200.
It breaks my heart to know that so much money is available for such things as a futile effort in the Middle East, but there is so little political will to help those on the planet who need it most.
Once Americans have insolated/isolated themselves from the rest of the world, built walls around the country with cameras and guards every ten feet, have they not then just built a prison...with themselves as prisoners?

HODAD26 said...

you are right!

Anonymous said...

There are many good and decent Americans, who want goodness in the world and are against the violence in Iraq and at home. But sadly, they do not have enough influence the policies of their government. The mass media will not give their causes time. The mass media are just a mouth piece of the US administration. Anyone who even questions the actions of the US government or has a different point of view is made out to be the enemy. No wonder people cannot believe in "US Humanitarian Aid." Building schools and hospitals is not as profitable as producing bombs.

Anonymous said...

Yes...there are many good and decent Americans...however the US government is run by big business, and as such profits will always come before 'doing-the-right-thing'.

Virginian Traveller said...

Is everyone that posts comments on here spouting forth the same, tired liberal claptrap? These hardcore, left-wing Bush-haters remind me PRECISELY of the same right-wing Clinton-haters. Get a life and try to view the world in an objective light - not through the lens of your personal ideology.

Comment on the good development described in the article, not some hackneyed political screed.

Anonymous said...

re: "Get a life and try to view the world in an objective light"

I seriously doubt that you have travelled the world and seen the devastating effects of American foreign policy.

It's easy to be a Bush-hater...and I would suggest we would be in the majority.

Show me where American foreign policy has done any good for anyone in the last 10 years.