A Region at Risk

The Latin American and Caribbean Region is exposed to a wide variety of health emergencies and disasters (natural, man-made, biological, chemical, radiological and others) of increasing scale and frequency, which affect the Region each year. These events significantly impact populations' health and constitute a major challenge for Latin American and Caribbean countries in protecting their people’s well-being. 

View active emergencies to which PAHO is responding:



Key facts



In the period between 2007-2016, around 24% of the disasters caused by natural phenomena that occurred worldwide took place in the region of the Americas.


Natural disasters killed over 247 thousand, affecting more than 203 million people and causing total damage of 466 billion US dollars. Each year, these numbers grow, posing serious threats to public health and countries’ development.


Emerging health emergencies, such as the Zika virus epidemic which exposed more than 500 million people in the LAC Region, represent new threats to public health and demand a broader scope for preparedness and response.