Concern over victim assistance 'inadequacies'

6th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

6 July 2006, BRUSSELS — Assistance for the victims of disasters is still fragmented and lacking in co-ordination, an investigatory workgroup has concluded.

6 July 2006

BRUSSELS — Assistance for the victims of disasters is still fragmented and lacking in co-ordination, an investigatory workgroup has concluded.

The Ghislenghien Cell — set up after the Ghislenghien gas disaster killed 24 people  in 2004 — said the situation of victims is still alarming, primarily in psychological and financial areas.

It also said the victim assistance bureaus would be incapable of coping in the event of a terrorist attack or large-scale disaster.

The Ghislenghien Cell had co-ordinated contact between surviving relatives and victims on one side and the judiciary, police and psycho-social services on the other following the 2004 gas explosion. Two years later, the cell has now drawn up its final report.

"Various ministries and institutes took all sorts of initiatives, but that led to great confusion and inefficiency towards surviving relatives and victims because they all worked alongside each other," it said.

"There is a lack of co-ordination and information at all levels. Victims and surviving relatives have a lot of questions about the judicial investigation and over compensation arrangements.

"Answers to these questions are important in pulling victims out of their loneliness, their frustrations, fear and ultimately, their anger."

The Ghislenghien Cell concluded that there was much to be desired about communication between the judiciary and insurance firms on one side and victims on the other.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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