The Member States of the Andean Subregion are aware of how important it is to strengthen access and availability to technical information for the improvement of disaster prevention and response activities. This was defined in the Andean Strategy for Disaster Prevention and Response that was signed by the governments of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela in July 2004, and in the guidelines set by CAPRADE (Andean Committee for Disaster Prevention and Response) to satisfy the requirements of the strategy. In line with these actions, the General Secretariat of the Andean Community (CAN) has joined forces with PAHO/WHO, ISDR and CRID to develop a disaster information network, that will have financial support from the European Community through the PREDECAN (Support to Disaster Prevention and Response in the Andean Community) Project, and from the CAPRADE member countries.

The network participants will be information centers in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. The project’s focus will be in increasing the countries’ technical capacity to manage information. Each center will be responsible for the promotion of a national information network on disasters, in direct coordination with risk management national authorities. Through these activities, information centers in the target countries will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to collect, index, manage, store, and, most importantly, disseminate information related to disasters so that local and national agencies will be better prepared to deal with these situations. Disaster documents and customized information kits will be available on the Internet through the web sites of these centers and the CRID.