Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

THE AMERICAS AND THE CARIBBEAN

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

Protracted conflict in Colombia, continued instability in Haiti and disasters affecting vulnerable communities in countries throughout the region created in 2006 dire humanitarian conditions for hundreds of thousands of children and women. In addition to tropical storms and hurricanes generating needs of limited scale and the continued struggle of communities affected by hurricanes Stan and Wilma in 2005, 2006 saw flooding in Guyana, Haiti and other countries across Central America, repeated volcano explosions in Ecuador and Colombia, continued drought in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba and Paraguay, and recurrent cold snaps in Bolivia and Peru. These disasters, as well as the continued conflicts in Colombia and Haiti, provide stark reminders of the vulnerability of many communities throughout the continent, of the shortcomings of emergency preparedness efforts and, sometimes, of the inadequacy of humanitarian response.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Support to emergency preparedness by UNICEF in 35 countries: UNICEF’s Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean (TACRO) will provide technical support to update preparedness for emergency response in 35 countries where UNICEF operates in coordination with other Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) actors at national level. Priority will be given to countries in complex emergencies and to countries prone to disasters, as well as to highly vulnerable communities across the region.

Technical support and capacity-building of national counterparts on CCC standards: Recognizing the key role of national entities for humanitarian relief, TACRO will support advocacy by Country Offices for the appropriation by national actors of UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies (CCCs) standards in all sectors of national preparedness instruments, through technical support and capacity-building of national counterparts for emergency response.

Capacity-building of UNICEF and IASC partners for cluster-specific response: TACRO will work with other IASC members to identify gaps in national and regional emergency response capacities in all sectors and ensure capacity-building of UNICEF staff as well as staff of other IASC members and partners to meet these gaps. Efforts will focus, in particular, on sectors where UNICEF has been designated cluster lead by the IASC or where it plays a recognized leadership role.

Regional surge response capacity: supplies, logistics, personnel rosters: TACRO will maintain capacity to provide direct assistance to Country Offices faced with medium- and large-scale emergencies through the following: maintenance of buffer stocks of essential relief items in Panama and three logistical bases, operated by WFP in cooperation with sub-regional international bodies, in Barbados, Ecuador and El Salvador; continued updating of existing roster of internal candidates for rapid deployment in emergencies and provision of training to its members; expansion of the roster of external candidates; establishment of a mechanism, in coordination with other members of the regional IASC Task Force, to review and complement early warning/early action assessments by Country Offices.

Support to risk reduction initiatives, with focus on education sector: TACRO will pursue partnerships with sub-regional risk management entities and international organizations mandated to reduce risk in order to ensure mainstreaming of risk reduction in all programmes supported by UNICEF and to promote specific initiatives that aim to reduce risk. Building on work carried out in 2006 and on the opportunity provided by the 2006/2007 international campaign on risk reduction in schools, efforts will particularly focus on the education sector.

Regional Office financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Support to emergency preparedness by UNICEF in 35 countries

500,000

Technical support and capacity-building of national counterparts on CCC standards

400,000

Capacity-building of UNICEF and IASC partners for cluster-specific response

300,000

Regional surge response capacity: supplies, logistics, personnel rosters

600,000

Support to risk reduction initiatives, with focus on education sector

600,000

Total*

2,400,000


* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.

© UNICEF/HQ05-0873/Shehzad Noorani