San Salvador, El Salvador — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and Taiwan, with the support of the Permanent Risk Management Bureau (MPGR) in El Salvador, hosted a regional disaster risk reduction workshop. Titled "Moving Urban Communities Toward Resilience: Advances and Challenges," the workshop took place May 31 to June 2, 2017.
Delegations from Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador participated in the event. During the meeting, participants, regional institutions and government representatives from El Salvador exchanged experiences about working in disaster management and disaster risk reduction.
The objective of the workshop wa to share experiences and best practices for disaster management, with an emphasis on urban resilience. The goals was to create a regional framework to address natural disasters based on the ideas and recommendations of participants.
Central America and the Caribbean are highly vulnerable regions. Natural hazards combined with geographical, political, environmental, social, economic and gender vulnerabilities.
Between the Managua, Nicaragua earthquake in 1972 and 2010, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) recorded natural disasters in 28 countries in the region. The total cost of these disasters was approximately 213 billion dollars and 309,742 deaths, affecting roughly 30 million people.
Given these risks, regional authorities must work together to reduce vulnerabilities and transform the socio-economic factors that prohibit communities from being properly prepared.
The regional workshop is part of the Taiwan-funded Yo Me Preparo project, which seeks to strengthen urban hillside communities that are vulnerable to floods and landslides. The project brings together universities, the private sector and members of the public sector to increase the resilience of the community by promoting climate change adaptation disaster risk reduction.
Since 2012, PADF and Taiwan have collaborated in countries throughout the region in dealing with emergencies and natural disasters. The Taiwan Regional and Disaster Assistance and Reconstruction Program (PADF) has been a five-year alliance to promote preparedness and mitigation programs in six countries.