UN Official Extols Cuban Preparedness in Case of Disasters

Havana, Sep 16.- The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Deputy Executive Director, Ibrahim Thiaw, praised the national preparation system to face disasters introduced in Cuba.

“I am very impressed by the way in which Cuba responds to disasters, by the way the population prepares itself together with the measures taken by the country to act before natural phenomena,” said in his interview with Prensa Latina the high official visiting this Caribbean country.

On the subject, he described as very organized and positive the system applied by the Cuban Civil Defense, which integrates the national government, with local authorities and the population in the case of weather emergencies.

“It takes a long time to build such a system. It takes a lot of time to maintain it. That requires a strong national administration. You managed to create the program, maintain it and put it into operation when the moment comes,” he added.

As he explained, when a natural disaster occurs, there is no time for improvisation, nor occasion for more drills. It is necessary to apply the provided measures because people´s lives are at stake.

In his opinion, Cuba is an example of that practice, something he said observed during a visit to the Civil Defense General Staff where he was briefed first hand the existing mechanisms over the national territory to act in the face of extreme climate situations.

“I was surprised at the fact this work is carried out by 300 persons, when I thought there were thousands involved in that task. Its achievements are in the system applied, in the work of the government, local authorities and in the response of the people,” he affirmed.

The high United Nations official considered essentially important to present the experience to the rest of the world, as well as to expand the exchange of information in which the UNEP can collaborate in order to facilitate cooperation North-South and South-South.

The agenda of Thiaw, who started his visit to Cuba on Sunday, included an exchange with specialists of the Institute of Meteorology and the Agency of the Environment to know details about the work of both organizations and the research carried out to mitigate environmental damage besides promoting associations inside the region. (Prensa Latina)

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