|International Health Relief Assistance - Recommendations Approved at the Meeting of International Health Relief Assistance in Latin America (PAHO)|
Disaster-stricken countries should establish and communicate to donor countries firm policies with regard to the acceptance of unsolicited or inappropriate supplies.
Recognizing that Latin American countries will deplete much of their financial and material resources during a disaster;
Concerned that inappropriate donations divert scarce national and international resources; and
Stressing the fact that Latin American countries are both potential recipients and providers of international relief assistance,
1. Disaster-stricken countries establish and communicate to donor countries firm policies with regard to the acceptance of unsolicited or inappropriate supplies.
2. Recipient governments inform their diplomatic missions of their policy on accepting or requesting assistance. Diplomatic missions should be kept informed of the current situation regarding requests made or assistance needed.
3. Authorities in donating countries launch continuous campaigns, through the mass media and other means, with their NGOs and the public to assure that their contributions are channeled toward needs recognized by the health authorities of the affected country, and that they refrain from collecting medical supplies, clothing, and other health/welfare items unless a definite need has been confirmed by the appropriate authorities of the affected country.
4. Donations consist, to the extent possible, of cash or credit provided directly to health authorities or to international agencies, or through other mutually agreed channels.
5. Donations in cash or kind be used, whenever possible, for replacement of national resources diverted from essential programs and used for the emergency.
6. Donations initially be aimed at restoring the level of health care to pre-disaster conditions.
7. Shipments of perishable or short-life supplies (e.g., blood biologicals) be made only on request from or with the approval of the National Health Disaster Coordinator or other authorized official of the Ministry of Health or designated department in close consultation with PAHO/WHO.
8. Authorities and the nongovernmental organizations of the country of origin ensure, to the extent possible, the control of quality (e.g., expiration date of drugs) of private donations intended for shipment, taking into account that high cost, retail-purchased drugs or samples are not appropriate.
9. The WHO model list of essential drugs and supplies be used as a guideline by the requesting and donating countries/agencies unless there is a specified, confirmed need for other drugs.
10. Recipient countries improve their distribution systems to ensure the best utilization of the resources.