Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief


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Monitoring Emergencies



From official sources (O.S.) and media (M). It does not represent PAHO's official position.

Colombia 7/25/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. The Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) has asked the national government and territorial authorities for emergency humanitarian intervention, to prevent infant mortality from diseases caused by the water shortages. The national government has announced an strategy to mitigate the effects of the shortage: drilling, distribution of water through tank cars, increased methods to control fires, support for agriculture. UNGR has distributed food and water kits and taken steps to clean water reservoirs in the Uribía municipality, in two phases, benefitting 26,000 families. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, Presidencia de Colombia, UNGRD; m.: Caracol)

Paraguay 7/25/2014

Floods update. River levels decreasing. Response: Continued support to those affected; 15,958 people have received assistance in Asunción. Installation of sanitation modules in affected areas of Asunción continues; a total of 100 will be installed. SEN (Paraguay) authorities have met with authorities from the Argentine Prime Minister’s Office and the Formosa (Argentina) province to coordinate bilateral collaboration before a possible El Niño phenomenon. (o.s.: Oficina de OPS en Paraguay, Ministerio de Salud, Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional; m.: Naineck Prensa Digital).

Colombia 7/25/2014

Drought. La Guajira Department. The Office of the Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) has asked the national government and territorial authorities for emergency humanitarian intervention, to prevent infant mortality from diseases caused by the water shortages. The national government has announced an strategy to mitigate the effects of the shortage: drilling, distribution of water through tank cars, increased methods to control fires, support for agriculture. UNGR has distributed food and water kits and taken steps to clean water reservoirs in the Uribía municipality, in two phases, benefitting 26,000 families. (o.s.: Defensoría del Pueblo, Presidencia de Colombia, UNGRD; m.: Caracol)



8 march – International Women’s Day: recognizing the vital role of women in risk reduction

On International Women’s Day, celebrated every year on 8 March, PAHO’s Area on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief recognizes the fundamental role of women in risk reduction, both in prevention and response, as well as in the recovery activities.

Today, more than ever, it is necessary to stop viewing women as the passive victims of disasters. It is very important to highlight their valuable participation in risk reduction, integrating the gender perspective in all policies, plans and decision-making processes related to disaster risk management.

It is recognized that disasters have different impacts on the quality of life of women and men of different ages and ethnic groups. Considering this, the plans for preparedness, mitigation and response to disasters should consider not only the specific needs, but also the potential contributions of women and men. A gender focus in the study and analysis of disasters is essential to reach the goal of having safer and more resilient communities.

The United Nations Security Council recognizes that humanitarian crises increase the risk to women to HIV, sexual violence and gender-based violence, and that Member States must implement positive actions to protect and empower women and girls to prevent these situations in the context of humanitarian assistance.

The region of Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the most vulnerable to disasters caused by natural hazards, a tendency that is increasing. Women are a fundamental part of the solution and they have both the right and the duty to take part in disaster risk management in their communities and nations, as well as in preparedness, action and recovery from disasters. They should also be considered in the consultation processes for decision making as well as in the creation of public policies for risk management.

An active and proactive role of women is fundamental, not only to advance in the development of people, but also in the strengthening of human rights.

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