By Mercedes Aguerre
In 2017, the IFRC’s Americas Regional Office signed two important Memorandums of Understanding that aim to promote the reduction of the effects of disasters caused by natural or human events and to strengthen disaster risk management systems in the region. The first one was signed in November 2017 with the Andean Community (CAN) which members are Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The second one was signed in December 2017 with the Coordination Centre for Natural Disasters Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC), regional organization which members are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
These Memorandums offers the framework through which the aforementioned organizations will focus their actions on strengthening the Disaster Risk Management System of Central and South America. An important component of the MoUs is in regard to legal frameworks for disaster and climate risk management. As such, disaster laws and policies will be reinforced together with the support of Red Cross National Societies, in their capacity as auxiliary role to the public authorities, by the promotion and implementation of tools such as the Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international Disaster relief and Initial Recovery Assistance (IDRL Guidelines) and the Checklist on law and disaster risk reduction.
Additional key working areas of the MoU include risk reduction, climate change adaptation, protection issues, livelihood, capacity development and early warning systems. Dissemination of best practices and exchange of information among the countries and regional cooperation through common exercises and simulations have also been prioritized.