10 Dec 2014

Disaster aid should include help for businesses: UN

7:14 pm on 10 December 2014

The United Nations says donors in the Pacific need to consider the vital role of businesses in the recovery from natural diasters.

Speaking at the Pacific Business Breakfast Meeting in Auckland, organised by Massey University, the sub-regional coordinator of the UN's Disaster Risk Reduction office, Timothy Wilcox, said a large proportion of businesses never recover from natural disasters.

He says after the Nadi floods in 2012, 94 percent of the 123 million US dollar loss was suffered by the business community.

Mr Wilcox says businesses need to be supported so they can help out and lend their expertise when its desperately needed.

"The government has to get these supplies from somewhere, water, tents, tarpaulins, food, rope, emergency equipment, first aid kits, and unless they've got them stockpiled, they've got to get them from the private sector and if the private sector is shut down, where do they get it from? Then they've got to get it from overseas. But how do they get it in from overseas? The private sector."

Timothy Wilcox says the private sector is often overlooked when money is donated for disaster relief.