Resilience and DRR Initiative

Countries around the world have suffered from disasters and the effects are felt by governments and communities for many years. From the Tohoku tsunami, the nuclear disasters in Fukushima, Japan (2011), the Great East Japan Earthquake to major droughts in 2012 in eastern Russia, Ukraine, Northern Brazil, China, the USA, and many floods in West Africa, natural disasters are causing significant economic and social losses.

Latin America and the Caribbean in particular has always been exposed to a wide variety of natural hazards including earthquakes, volcanoes, storms, extreme temperatures, droughts, floods, landslides, forest fires, among others. The global trend toward increasing climate variability is also exacerbating many of these hazards. According to the World Bank, seven of the world’s top 15 countries exposed to three or more hazards are in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Countries from the region have experienced an increased impact of natural disasters – from earthquakes in Haiti (2010), devastating storms in El Salvador, volcanic eruptions in Guatemala, and floods in Brazil.

Disasters directly affect businesses performance and undermine long-term competitiveness and sustainability. When critical infrastructure, disruptions in power, water supply and telecommunications are damaged businesses are directly affected. Natural disasters also cause disruptions to global supply chains and logistics systems causing a severe impact on industries.

The objective of the Decentralized Cooperation Programme’s initiative “Disaster Preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean” is to strengthen the capacity of cities and local governments and policy makers to reduce disaster risk by (1) facilitating the exchange of best practices, experiences and approaches to better manage disasters, (2) promoting collaboration among local governments, universities, research/training institutions and the private sector to develop more effective disaster response and preparedness strategies (3) providing learning courses to increase the understanding of risk reduction concepts and approaches, as well as trends and challenges.

In 2013, the Decentralized Cooperation Programme (DCP) together with CAF (Development Bank for Latin America) and with the support of Chile’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning hosted the International Forum “Enhancing resilience to disasters in Latin America”. The forum, held in Santiago de Chile on the 27-29 of August provided an international platform to exchange knowledge and best practices on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience of cities.

The event gathered experts in DRR from Japan, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador, among others. Additionally, government officials from Latin American countries attended the event along with local participants.

We invite you to watch the event deliberations here

To download the event agenda please click here