- Category: Nation
11 Nov 2013
- Written by Cai U. Ordinario
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed its willingness to extend support to the Philippine government in immediate and subsequent rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Supertyphoon Yolanda-affected areas.
In a letter sent to President Aquino and other members of the Cabinet on Monday, ADB President Takehiko Nakao expressed his deepest condolences and sympathy to the victims of Yolanda.
“I offer my deepest condolences to the government and people of the Philippines for the tragic loss of lives and property caused by Typhoon Yolanda,” Nakao said in his letter. “My sincere sympathy to those who have lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood.”
Nakao assured that the Manila-based multilateral bank stands ready to extend its “fullest support, both in the immediate aftermath of the disaster and in the subsequent rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.”
In a separate statement, ADB Independent Evaluation Director General Dr. Vinod Thomas said Yolanda only demonstrated how vulnerable Filipinos are to extreme storms and floods, especially in light of climate change.
This should prompt the Philippines, as well as other countries that are similarly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, to invest in disaster preparedness. This will prevent years of hard-won economic and social progress from being lost.
“The Philippines and others across the region need to invest more in disaster preparedness—in early-warnings systems, better land zoning and environmental controls. Yet, many governments still focus only on relief and recovery,” Thomas said.
“The evidence linking climate change to the rise in extreme storms and floods is now compelling. This means that climate adaptation must become a crucial dimension in disaster prevention, including climate proofing of infrastructure and developing climate-resilient crops,” he added.
Thomas said these kinds of destructive typhoons that bring along with them floods and heavy rains could occur “two or three times in a single rainy season” and, therefore, call for the conduct of stress tests on likely natural hazards.
He added there is also a need to put in place emission controls worldwide to help countries adapt to the impacts of global warming on floods and storms. “Clearly, we must mop up the floor after storms and flooding, but we also need to turn down the running tap with its source in increased carbon emissions in the air.
Cai U. Ordinario