In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
Programme Summary: Developing countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean remain alarmingly vulnerable to the impact of natural and man-made disasters. In this context, the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) has provided operational and logistics support to the region's National Societies in response to 13 flooding emergencies, one volcanic eruption and one seismic event in an effective and efficient manner according to the needs. A total of CHF 940,431 was allocated in 2006 through the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Peru and El Salvador. Also, larger response operations were supported through emergency appeals, which included a volcanic eruption in Ecuador and flooding in Haiti and Suriname. The three Emergency appeals were launched for a total of CHF 1,895,869.
PADRU focused in 2006 on training and developing Regional Intervention Teams (RIT) throughout the Americas. These specialized staff strengthens National Societies, reinforces cross regional collaboration, promotes human resources development, facilitates the sharing of best practices and increases standardization and understanding of Federation Response tools and mechanisms.
In short, 2006 was marked by a scaling-up of activities at various levels: large and smaller-scale disaster response support to National Societies increased RIT training and deployments, effective of regional collaboration, and increased availability of pre-positioned stock.
Overall Programme Goal: Red Cross National Societies in the Americas are receiving significant benefit through support, services, coordination, resources and training from an efficient and effective disaster management unit that contributes to increasing the capacity to successfully help people reduce risk, respond to and recover from disasters, thus alleviating human suffering.
Needs: Total 2006-2007 budget: CHF 4,778,190 (USD 3,958,730 or EUR 3,005,150); of which 33.6% is covered. The budget for 2006 was: CHF 2,687,331 (USD 2,226,455 or EUR 1,690,145), of which 60% is covered.
No. of people we help: A total of 31,166 families (approximately 153,273 persons) were assisted through Red Cross disaster response operations supported by PADRU in 2006, of which 18,363 families (approximately 91,815 persons) were assisted directly through DREF and Emergency Appeal funds. PADRU will continue to coordinate and facilitate the international disaster response of the Red Cross in the Americas. When not responding to disasters,
PADRU will continue to contribute to the strengthening of local and regional disaster response capacity of National Societies while continuously increasing the overall quality of existing tools, mechanisms and procedures. Due to the emergency related character of the services of PADRU, estimations on the quantity of people in the future who will benefit from activities of PADRU are not possible.
Our Partners: During emergency operations and in preparation activities such as coordination meetings and trainings, PADRU closely coordinates with governmental and/or non-governmental organizations present at the place of emergency, such as United Nations (UN) agencies, Ericsson Response, Oxfam, Partner and Operating National Societies and other humanitarian organizations. Furthermore, through regular participation in regional and international coordination meetings with international agencies, useful information, best practices and available resources are shared in order to reduce duplication of efforts and ensure effective operational inter-agency coordination during disasters.
In line with a world-wide phenomenon which has seen a fifty percent increase in the incidence of disasters in the last two decades - and an exponential growth in the number of people affected - the Americas have experienced a significant escalation in the frequency and scale of natural disasters outstripping the coping capacity of the local and national authorities and population. After a ferocious hurricane season in 2005, which left thousands of dead and billions of dollars of damage in their wake, 2006 was marked by excessive rainfall throughout the Americas. The resulting floods required relief operations of varying sizes in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Peru and Suriname. The Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) responded swiftly to these disasters as well as to the volcanic eruption in Ecuador and the seismic swarm in El Salvador by providing operational and logistics support to National Societies in an efficient and timely manner, corresponding to the specific needs.
PADRU's response entailed providing support, services, coordination, resources and training to the Red Cross National Societies in the Americas, always in coordination with the Panama Regional Delegation, the Lima Regional Delegation and the Port of Spain Sub Regional Office. In addition, as a focal point for disaster response in the Americas, PADRU activated and coordinated the technical response tools at global and regional levels.
The development of leadership and coordination skills in the National Societies was a priority for PADRU during the period. The focus in this regard was the deployment of RIT members, which has aided in the strengthening of cross-regional collaboration by facilitating the sharing of best practice and promoting human resource development in National Societies.
PADRU managed its response resources - disaster management delegates, RIT members, and Participating National Society Delegates - in the different emergency operations and disaster preparedness activities with an aim to ensure the availability of these resources at all times.
Furthermore, PADRU provided, through its Regional Logistics Unit (RLU) and IT and Telecom department humanitarian relief supply, logistics support and IT and Telecommunication equipment, thereby strengthening and enhancing the response and rehabilitation capacities of the National Societies in the Americas.