|Disasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 64 - October, 1995 (PAHO-OPS, 1995, 8 p.)|
International Emergency Settlement Conference: New Approaches to New Realities
Today, more than 40 million people are displaced by natural and human-made disasters and many reside in "emergency settlements." The Disaster Management Center at the University of Wisconsin is sponsoring an international conference from 15 to 19 April 1995 in Madison, Wisconsin. to seek and provide solutions to international issues of emergency settlement, including: political, security, civil and human rights aspects; basic assistance needs; and social, psychological, economic, and developmental issues. There are limited funds available to support participation of citizens from developing countries who are working in a field related to emergency settlement, and are fluent in written and spoken English. Please contact Don Schramm, Disaster Management Center, Dept. of Engineering Professional Development, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, 432 North Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706 USA; Tel: (608) 262-5441; Fax: (608) 2633160; E-mail: email@example.com.
ECHO's Pilot Projects in Disaster Preparedness
In the first half of 1995, the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) financed 18 disaster preparedness projects in Africa, Asia. Latin America and the Caribbean, and the former Soviet Union totalling nearly US$3 million. Certain of these projects have a multiplier effect in that technology or approaches used in one situation can be applied in other disaster-prone regions. Following are some of the 1995 ECHO projects funded in Latin America and the Caribbean:
· Building hazard-resistant features into Central American schools. Assists ministries of education to incorporate natural hazard reduction techniques into school construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and repair programs in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.
· Risk assessment in Costa Rica. Ecuador, and Jamaica. Boosts efforts by national emergency management offices to map vulnerable areas, particularly regarding the impact of disasters on agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and transportation.
· Safer roads and bridges in Central America and the Andean countries. On average, approximately 80% of national transportation budgets in these countries goes to repair and maintain roads following damage from floods, earthquakes, landslides, and other natural events. This project will analyze current use of natural hazard reduction techniques in road, bridge and overpass design and construction.
· UNDAC - A network- of experts in Latin America. The UN Department for Humanitarian Affairs has created a Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC) consisting of experts from the Region who can assess and coordinate action in case of disaster. The ECHO grant will provide the Team with necessary equipment to ensure their effective deployment.
The Organization of American States, UN/DHA, and others are working with ECHO as the implementing partners for these projects. For more information on ECHO activities, please con tact Mr. E. Thielmann, ECHO, Rue de la Loi 200, Office 3/276. B-1049 Brussels, Belgium; Fax: (32 2) 29-54-551.
This newsletter, published by the Regional IDNDR Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, provides current information on disaster prevention projects and partnerships in the Americas. To subscribe or to contribute, please write: IDNDR Regional Office, Box 3745-1000 San Jose, Costa Rica; Fax: (506) 257-2139; Tel: (506) 257-2141.
In memory of Fred Cuny
Frederick C. Cuny disappeared in Chechnya in April 1995 along with
two Russian physicians, while carrying out an assessment of humanitarian needs.
After months of searching, his family now presumes that he was killed during
that mission. Fred did much to reform how international agencies and disaster
managers respond to large-scale emergencies. He collaborated as a consultant
with PAHO in the early years of its disaster preparedness program, in particular
in the area of managing international relief assistance. Disasters and
Development, published by Cuny in 1983, is a now-classic examination of the
interrelation of relief and development processes. Cuny's honest and outspoken
approach to disaster management will be