Source: UNISDR-The Americas
PANAMA, Panama, November 22, 2013
– Protecting the lives and livelihoods of more than forty million people in Central America and positioning disaster prevention as a right
in this highly vulnerable region threatened by natural events was the aim of the projects of the Office of the United Nations Disaster Risk reduction (UNISDR) and the Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission (ECHO), the Coordination Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC) and other strategic partners.
To this end, some 160 representatives and experts from international organizations, government, donors and civil society will meet on November 26, 27 and 28 in Panama City for the “Regional Consultation Workshop on Integrated Risk Management and Dissemination in Central America”, which aims to set regional priorities and review the progress and challenges of integrated risk management.
The Regional Consultation Workshop on Integrated Risk Management and Dissemination in Central America is convened by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Coordination Centre for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC), the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), Plan International, UNICEF and receives technical and financial support from the Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission (ECHO).
According to international databases mentioned by the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR), from 2000 to date, over 200 recorded natural events resulted in the death of approximately 5,400 people and directly affecting about 12 million people from disaster situations. These figures demonstrate the urgent need for continued investment in disaster risk reduction.
ECHO, through the Disaster Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO), which has existed for over 15 years, has earmarked 10 million euros in six Central American countries for the period 2012-2013. The programme seeks to improve preparedness and increase the resilience (ability to cope, respond and recover from adversity) of communities at risk of disasters in order to contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
The workshop, to be held in Panama, is an ideal platform for the dissemination of lessons learned and tools originated in the region, as well as for gathering inputs and recommendations from partners and national systems to support the strategies and priorities of the region. The conclusions of the event will also serve as inputs to be considered by the European humanitarian department during the design of the next DIPECHO Action Plan (2014-2015) for the region. The conclusions will be based on the general framework of the Central American Policy for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (PCGIR) driven by CEPREDENAC.
Under the current DIPECHO Action Plan for Central America 2012-2013, UNISDR - CEPREDENAC are implementing one regional project,whose primary achievements include:
Agenda for the Regional Consultation Workshop on Integrated Risk Management and Dissemination in Central America
Disaster Risk Reduction in Central America
Given the growing impact of disasters in countries of Central America in recent years, the priority is to build on the momentum of comprehensive risk management as a key element of political life of Central American countries to ensure the irreversibility, institutionalization and sustainability of ongoing processes and achievements in the path of sustainable development of countries in the region – that due to their geographic, social, environmental and economic characteristics - are highly exposed to the impact of natural hazards that have been exacerbated by climate change.
Risk management efforts in the different areas in Central American countries is an enormous challenge that requires coordinated actions of all regional, national and local stakeholders in order to achieve the goals of reducing human, economic and environmental losses. It is in this context that UNISDR and CEPREDENAC interact with Central American Governments to achieve the targets adopted at the United Nations General Assembly to implement the Hyogo framework 2005-2015 and its five priorities for action and to continue the implementation of the PCGIR.
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