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UNGA Convenes Informal Session on Hurricane Sandy

9 November 2012: UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Vuk Jeremić convened an informal meeting of the Assembly to address issues arising from Hurricane Sandy. The session detailed the monies allocated for affected countries from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

According to the UN, the storm caused death and destruction across the Caribbean region and the Eastern seaboard of the US. An estimated five million people in the Caribbean States of the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica were affected. Ban expressed his solidarity with the countries impacted and pledged the “full support of the UN for the recovery effort.” He added that extreme weather due to climate change is “the new normal,” and urged Member States to reduce GHG emissions, strengthen adaptation activities for the even larger climate shocks expected in the future, and reach a legally-binding climate agreement by 2015.

Delegates underscored the need to incorporate disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation in order to achieve sustainable development.

The UN has allocated US$5 million to Cuba and $4 million for Haiti, from CERF. CERF aims to enable the fast delivery of life-saving assistance to people affected by natural disasters and other crises worldwide. Jamaica also is expected to receive an emergency grant for health and food security support. [UN Press Release]