We’ll be better prepared next time – ministry

Sweden's foreign ministry has said it will be better prepared next time Swedes are involved in a disaster abroad than it was during the tsunami disaster.

The foreign ministry, and particularly foriegn minister Laila Freivalds, faced widespread criticism for their handling of last year’s tsunami, in which 500 Swedes died. The ministry has therefore announced a range of measures to improve its response to disasters.

These include founding a 35-strong disaster recovery unit, which will be able to help out at consulates abroad during any potential disaster.

Fast relief teams with members from embassies will be deployed around the globe and recovery contact points will be put in place in about twenty Swedish consulates.

The Emergency Service and Rescue Service Authorities will help the units with planning how to deal with a crisis at any level. There will be better telephone exchange systems and the minstry will improve collaboration with the travel industry and with the governments of the other Nordic and EU countries.