Chile: Earthquake — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 16th March 2010.

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Photo of Lord Brett Lord Brett Government Whip, Government Whip 3:00 pm, 16th March 2010

Our endeavours at the moment and those of the Chilean Government are, first, to get people back into shelter, and to reconstruct and rebuild people's lives that have been shattered by this experience; and secondly, to learn the lessons and to seek to avoid such things in the future. In addition to immediate UK aid, some €3 million is being provided by the European Commission for further assistance, and pledges of some $29 million have been given via the United Nations-$10 million has been provided from the Central Emergency Response Fund. The UK contribution to CERF is 16 per cent or $1.6 million, so I think that we are doing all we can. However, it is for the world to learn, not just from this disaster but from the disaster of the tsunami in south-east Asia and from the experience in Haiti, that we have to do better. That is where the United Nations has a responsibility; its specialised agencies need to co-ordinate better, not only in the aftermath of these natural disasters but, by greater endeavour, to prevent them or to recognise as early as possible that they are going to happen and to respond more effectively.