updated 9/7/2007 1:23:37 PM ET 2007-09-07T17:23:37

A European Union official warned Friday more resources and planning are needed to cope with the increased call for emergency aid in wake of a rise in natural disasters around the world.

EU spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said more and more aid money was being eaten up to provide rapid humanitarian aid to disaster areas, such as those in Central America hard hit by Hurricane Felix.

"It's clear that financial pressure is going to be enhanced on the international humanitarian aid system in general," Altafaj Tardio told reporters. "Our first line of work is to increase our capacity to react. That implies that financial resources should be increased too."

Altafaj Tardio said the European Commission had already budgeted more money to cope with urgent aid requests and needs alongside the United Nations, but said better international coordination was needed.

EU experts have warned to expect more extreme weather patterns around the world, which are expected to push the need for more emergency aid from donors like the EU, the U.N. and rich countries.

He said humanitarian aid was sent usually in wake of armed conflict and natural disasters "and the latter ... will see a considerable increase, but in fact the whole international system needs to react not just to also have more but also to do better."

The EU's aid office ECHO has already sent 1 million euros ($1.4 million) in an initial response to calls for aid from Nicaragua and other countries hit by Felix in recent days.

The EU also has provided millions in aid this year to help victims of fighting in Sri Lanka, flooding in southern Asia, Sudan, and victims of an earthquake in Peru, among others.

Altafaj Tardio said the EU was likely to send an additional 6 million euros ($8.2 million) in aid to help reconstruction efforts in Peru in the coming weeks.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments