Panama

Panama: Floods DREF Bulletin no. MDRPA001 Final 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: 20 October 2006 to 20 February 2007.

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

- CHF 67,922 (USD 53,934 or EUR 42,769) was allocated from the Federation's DREF on 20 October 2006 to respond to the needs of this operation.

- This operation was implemented in 4 months, and completed by 20 February 2007. In line with Federation reporting standards, the DREF Bulletin Final Report (narrative and financial) was due 90 days after the end of the operation (by 20 May, 2007).

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

As of 12 October torrential rains were reported in several areas in Panama. Approximately 1,900 people were directly affected by flooding and emergency situations resulting from these rains in the regions of Panama East, Panama West (in the province of Panama) and the province of Chiriquí. Authorities reported landslides and flooding mainly due to overflowing of the Chiriquí Viejo and Chico rivers.

The Red Cross Society of Panama (RCSP) offered initial response to the emergency by supporting activities such as rescue and evacuation, first aid care, needs assessments and the provision of first relief items in the form of clothing, dry food and hygiene kits. After assessing the situation, it was decided to prioritize provision of kitchen sets, hygiene kits, food, water and blankets. Relief goods were then distributed to the 380 families identified by the local Branches as the most vulnerable (see table below for affected areas). A team of water and sanitation experts from the Federation participated in the distribution activities and took the opportunity to evaluate the environmental health situation within the communities with the aim of preparing the environmental health awareness-raising campaign.

Rescue, evacuation and emergency assessments were coordinated with other governmental institutions such as SINAPROC (Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil - National System of Civil Defence), the Panama Fire Brigade, the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Social Development that were present at the affected areas.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

- In Panama: José Béliz, Director General, Red Cross Society of Panama; e-mail; cruzroja@pa.gbnet.cc; Phone (507) 315 189 or 680 3455; fax (507) 315 1401.

- In Panama: Stephen McAndrew, Head, Pan American Disaster Response Unit; e-mail Stephen.McAndrew@ifrc.org, phone (507) 316-1001; fax (507) 316-1082.

- In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; e-mail Luis.Luna@ifrc.org, phone 41-22-730-4274; fax 41-22-733-0395.

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 national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org