Following the major earthquakes that devastated Peru and Guatemala in the early 1970s, the ministers of health of the Region of the Americas, assembled during the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization in 1976, agreed that decisive action was needed to improve disaster preparedness in the Region. Consequently, the ministers called on PAHO/WHO[1] to create a disaster preparedness and response unit to assist countries in responding to disasters and to establish a voluntary fund for health aid to countries facing major emergencies.  The Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Area (PED) was thus created in March 1977.

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Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief

525 23rd Street, N.W. - Washington, D.C. 20037, U.S.A.
202.974.3399 - Fax 202.775.4578 - disaster@paho.org - www.paho.org/disasters