Honduras: Civil Unrest Emergency Plan of Action (DREF) DREF n° MDRHN012


A. Situation analysis

Description of the crisis

On 26 November 2017, general elections were held in the country to elect the president, members of congress and mayors; these elections are considered historic because the current president of the republic has run for re-election, and it is the first time in the electoral and democratic history of the country that an electoral alliance has formed between opposing political parties. So far, a winner has not been officially declared. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has been tallying the votes; however, the two leading candidates each proclaimed themselves the election’s winner prior to the issuance of the first official report. This has generated uncertainty among the population regarding the electoral process due to the time that it has taken to tally the votes and the varying results.

Because of this situation, the Honduran Red Cross has reported high levels of political-social tension throughout the country, which has manifested itself in public demonstrations and social confrontations with the police in the departments of Francisco Morazán, Cortes, Atlántida, Choluteca, Olancho, Yoro, El Paraíso, Intibucá, Comayagua y San Bárbara; these clashes have been intensifying and there are concerns that tensions may worsen.

Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society actions

Through its network of branches, the Honduran Red Cross in coordination with the ICRC and with its financial support, has been developing coordinated actions since the beginning of the electoral process.

Activities prior to the electoral process included:

• Drafting of the contingency plan for the election days

• Safer Access Workshop (for Youth, Health, National Blood Programme, Relief, Risk Management, Pre-Hospital Care, Essential Services department staff)

• Simulations to replicate Security Measures to reduce the staff's vulnerability during service deliveries on election days

• Sending of memo containing the guidelines for election days to all participating HRC staff and volunteers

• Dissemination of messages through WhatsApp groups and social networks containing the Fundamental Principles

• Dissemination of messages through WhatsApp containing the guidelines for election days

• Sharing of the guidelines for election days during operational preparedness meetings with each branch

• Sending of key messages to be used with National Society-authorized spokespersons (branch presidents)

• Placement of "No Weapons" stickers on 90 institutional vehicles • Distribution of 200 vests to several HRC branches.

Activities during the electoral process included:

• Activation of the Contingency Plan for electoral events

• Activation of the National Monitoring Centre with risk management and security personnel

• Implementation of the automated Information Management Platform from the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC)

• Assignment of personnel to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

• Assignment of personnel to the 911 EOC

• Provision of guidance to councils on event-related issues

• Coordination with the National Emergency System for potential ambulance mobilization

• Information validation and emergency response

• Information meeting on the socio-political situation with participating staff

• Provision of guidelines regarding community activities, such as training and / or conducting surveys

• Sharing with the media and general public a joint statement written by HRC, ICRC and IFRC on the importance of the respect of the medical mission.