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Year in Review 2017: Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean



Challenges and changes

2017 was a tumultuous year for humanitarian response in Latin America and the Caribbean. The safety, security and stability of millions of people in the region was compromised by disasters and emergencies, while the humanitarian aid sector underwent a re-evaluation of its purpose, practices and financing.

More than 8 million people in the region were reported to have been affected by disasters and emergencies in 2017. Between intense flooding brought on by El Niño in Peru and two Category 5 hurricanes battering the Caribbean, the link between the increased intensity of climate-related phenomenon and climate change was grimly evident in 2017. In September, two earthquakes struck different parts of Mexico in less than two weeks, killing more than 400 people, affecting hundreds of thousands of people and incurring damage that authorities say will take years to recover from. The increase in forced displacement across Central America and Mexico brought on by criminal violence remains a pressing concern for national authorities, humanitarian organizations and international partners.

The United Nations Regional Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean (OCHA ROLAC) worked to provide humanitarian coordination in response to these crises, ensuring an effective and inclusive humanitarian action to meet the needs of those affected; protect, empower and deliver for women, girls, boys and men; and respect the dignity of those affected.

In 2017, OCHA ROLAC engaged with national and international partners all over the region to strengthen operational readiness and coordination and promote regional solidarity throughout the year to prepare for crises.

OCHA ROLAC’s work not would be possible without the vital support from our partners who have helped us improve our capacity with financial and material resources, joint deployments and constant feedback.

We thank you for your continued support.

Christophe Illemassene
Head of Office a.i.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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