Colombia’s proposal for a new hemisphere-wide disaster relief system was approved at the ninth Conference for the Defense Ministers of America (CDMA) in Bolivia this week, reports the Sincelejo Herald.
The new “dual speed” system will enable states to get together to design and implement disaster relief strategies, according to their respective capabilities and interests, without requiring the participation of all member states.
Colombia, Peru, the U.S., Chile and the Dominican Republic plan to implement a center for the collaboration of military assistance, and a common technolgy platform to facilitate future disaster relief operations.
The conference of defense ministers also agreed on policies for environmental sustainability and ratified a position “rejecting the presence or actions of armed groups outside the law to exercise or encourage violence, whatever its origin or motivation.”
On Thursday, Colombia’s Minister for Justice and the Interior German Vargas Lleras announced that the government would declare a national disaster in order to deal with devastation caused by the ongoing rainy season.
The minister said that the government was currently focusing on humanitarian efforts to help victims, but would later concentrate on reconstruction and prevention.
According to meteorologists, this year’s rainy season, which started in March and is expected to last until next year, is the worst in 60 years.
Bogota last week warned it had run out of funds to help the victims and called on the international community and the country’s private sector to help.