Fuelled by social inequality, violence continues to grow in the Americas region, especially in urban contexts where over 80% of the population live. Of the 50 most violent cities in the world, 43 are in the Americas, as well as 14 of the 25 countries with the highest rates of gender-based violence (GBV). Moreover, the Americas region is home to 26.6% of the world’s migrants (61.6 million people).
Population movements have a significant impact on equity, social cohesion, and the economy, while increasing the risk of discrimination and violence for internally displaced people (IDPs) and migrants and limiting their access to social and health services. Migration increases tension and vulnerability in countries of origin and receiving communities, generating consequences in health care provision, infrastructure, and disease management. In the absence of an international legal obligation in favour of migrant integration, social cohesion is further challenged. Significant humanitarian needs exist in transit areas, temporary settlements and host communities. As of June 2018, approximately 2.3 million Venezuelans were living abroad, as 9 out of 10 Venezuelans have sought refuge within Latin America, especially in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and in Caribbean nations. In 2019, the Disasters & Crisis (D&C) Management Team of the Americas Regional Office (ARO) will concentrate on improving operational excellence as a follow-up to the disaster system reforms carried out within the Toluca Declaration framework which has been transformed into a continuous optimization process as agreed upon at the 2017 meeting.
Operational excellence is defined as “the systematic management of productivity, quality, reliability, and excellence to achieve better key performance indicators”, entailing the use of the organization’s total capacity (processes, technology and human talent) to implement optimization strategies and guarantee the operational effectiveness to fulfil its humanitarian mandate and benefit people affected by disasters.