Colombia to host of the First Continental Pre-Disaster/Pre-Hurricane Meeting

Published: 25 June 2013

Aiming to strengthen the regional response system through clear coordination of roles and responsibilities during a hurricane or other emergencies, the Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with the 35 National Societies of the Americas will meet in Bogota, Colombia from June 24 to 28 for the First Continental Pre-Disaster/Pre-Hurricane meeting.

PADRU had been annually developing regional  'Pre-hurricane Meetings,' where the National Societies of Central America, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and the Caribbean, as well as participating National Societies present in the region, Government response institutions, regional Disaster Response mechanisms and other key partners in order to establish good levels of coordination. This year, with a view of  working together across the American Continent, a change in the framework of the meeting was proposed to make it a 'Continental Pre-disaster' meeting, in which the participants share experiences and lessons learned, learn about the uses of new technologies and trends, focusing on technical aspects for coordination, disaster response and early recovery.

The Americas Zone and its 35 National Societies face the second highest rate disaster in the world. Additionally, the Americas also face the second highest rate of deaths due to disasters. This is primarily due to the fact that many of the countries in the zone face multiple hazards which are exacerbated by humanitarian trends such as migration, climate change, violence and urban risk.

The National Societies in the Americas also face an important growth in urban populations living in unplanned settlement, which causes an increase in the proliferation of slums , the deterioration of living conditions, overcrowding, and greater pressure on education, health, sanitation, transport and recreational services.  Latin America and the Caribbean constitute the most urbanized region in the world, with 80 per cent of its population living in cities.  It is expected that by 2050, 87 per cent of the population will live in urban environments.

In keeping with its auxiliary role toward governments and local communities through its partners, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are often the first to offer help in emergency situations and in some contexts are the only support that a community receives.  In light of the evolving complexity of disaster response and recovery, coordination and collaboration are ever more important .

An evolving context also entails changes in technology, with important innovations that can help us improve our humanitarian interventions.  Therefore, it is ever more important for the National Societies to meet and share experiences, learning from one another to continue doing more, doing it better and reaching further.

The Colombian Red Cross – host of the Continental Meeting

For the Colombian Red Cross it is a great challenge to be chosen as the host of the First Continental Pre-Disaster/Pre-Hurricane Meeting organized by the PADRU of the IFRC.

“The Colombian Red Cross has deployed its entire logistic capacity, through its different areas, in order to offer a satisfactory experience for all participants.  This meeting is an opportunity to put our capacity to the test, proudly representing our National Society and of course, our country,” said Cesar Urueña, Director General of the Colombian Red Cross. 

 As a contribution to the technical component of the Meeting, the Colombian Red Cross will present the 'Disaster Management Model' which has been development for 65 years, particularly highlighting the disaster response which it currently possesses to respond to any disaster that occurs in the country. 


More Information: 

Dr. Fernando José Cárdenas Guerrero Sr. Cesar Urueña Pulido
Presidente Nacional Director General de Socorro Nacional
Cruz Roja Colombiana Cruz Roja Colombiana
Cel. 315 578 84 58 Cel. 310 238 90 21

Enrique Jair Guevara
IFRC, Americas zone  
Cel. +507 6670 7365  
Twitter: @IFRC_es 

Nathaly Lurduy Castro
Cruz Roja Colombiana 
Cel: 310 476 36 26 - 310 768 22 05
Twitter: @cruzrojacol // BBPin: 291CC7B8