Annan voices sympathy for flood victims around the world, pledges UN support
The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today voiced his sympathy for the people and the governments around the world suffering the effects of flooding and pledged to continue UN assistance to those stricken by the disasters.
Several countries in Central Europe and South Asia, as well as the Russian Federation, Iran, China and the Philippines, have been struck by massive flooding, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes.
A statement released by a spokesperson for Mr. Annan said the UN was providing support to affected countries that have requested it by delivering relief materials, mobilizing donor support, and serving as a conduit for the timely sharing of information. "The UN stands ready to assist any other affected countries that ask for help," the statement said.
The Secretary-General also pointed out that the upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled to open on 26 August, would provide an opportunity to move forward on developing strategies to reduce the effects of natural disasters and to confront the serious environmental challenges affecting the planet.
"Such strategies must become and essential component of sustainable development policies and practices," the statement said.