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Pan American Disaster Response Unit: Hurricane season preparedness 2006 Final Report for DREF Bulletin no. MDR42001

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Situation Report
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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

Period covered by this Final Report: May to December 2006.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

- CHF 100,000 was allocated from the Federation's DREF on 24 May, 2006 to prepare for the 2006 hurricane season.

- CHF 59,114 was the total expenditure from this allocation for the 2006 hurricane season.

- CHF 40,886 of unused funds were returned to the Federation's DREF.

The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and Summary

The predictions for the 2006 hurricane season indicated that the Caribbean faced the threat of being hit by five to six severe storms and at least a dozen medium force hurricanes during the 2006 hurricane season. In the years 2004 and 2005 the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico experienced very active hurricane seasons. In fact, the year 2005 registered the most active hurricane season ever with a total of 42 hurricanes, 27 of them in the Caribbean. The experience from the 2005 hurricane season showed that both the National Societies and the Secretariat increased their capacity in getting organized and prepared prior to the season as well as responding effectively once the disaster hit. In order to continue this trend and ensure that resources were in place and available to guarantee a timely and effective response, the Americas department requested and received CHF 100,000 from the Federation's Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF).

Meteorologists predicted that the 2006 Hurricane season in the Atlantic region was going to be the most active in the Caribbean and Central American region. But in spite of these forecasts, the 2006 hurricane season was relatively calm as no hurricanes of great magnitude developed. Altogether, four tropical storms and four hurricanes passed over the Caribbean. Hurricane Ernesto caused the most impact in the region, necessitating part of the allocation of DREF funding for Haiti. Seven tropical storms and ten hurricanes were reported in the Pacific, two of which, John and Lane, affected the west coast of Mexico.

The head of the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) was the budget holder of the DREF allocation and used the funds to his discretion and always informed the Americas Department and Operations Support Department prior to its use. CHF 40,886 of unused funds was reimbursed.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Panama: Dario Alvarez, Acting Head, Pan American Disaster Response Unit; e-mail dario.alvarez@ifrc.org, phone (507) 316-1001; fax (507) 316-1082.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for DREF Bulletin no. MDR42001; Final Report national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org