PADF launches a Regional Conference on Reducing Disaster Risk

Tegucigalpa, Honduras (August 7, 2014)  The Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) of Honduras, the Municipal Emergency Committee of the Central District (CODEM), and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF, for its acronym in English) have organized the regional conference "Best Practices and Lessons Learned in Reducing Disaster Risk: the Neighborhood Strategy in Central America," which will be taking place from August 7-10, 2014 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

This important conference, with the presence of representatives from national and local institutions responsible for risk management of natural disasters in Central America, specialists from multilateral institutions, academics and representatives of NGOs, is produced with the support of the Government of Taiwan, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and cosponsored by COPECO and CODEM.

The objective of the conference is to share best practices and lessons learned in disaster risk reduction (DRR) with a focus on high-risk urban areas in Central America.
DRR and protecting vulnerable communities against natural calamities is the responsibility of all sectors of society, both public and private, and every level from the national as the municipal and neighborhood.

"Taiwan is aware of the increase of natural disasters caused by climate change,” pointed out the First Secretary of the Embassy of Taiwan in Honduras, Carlos Antonio Yeh. "Also, being a responsible member of the international community, and historic friend of the Central American brothers, we show once again our solidarity and friendship to unite efforts to provide the necessary tools to the people and institutions responsible of risk management, to prevent natural hazards from becoming unnecessarily in human tragedies."

The conference was launched on August 7 with words of guests, including Antonio Carlos Yeh, First Secretary of the Embassy of Taiwan in Honduras; Nasry Asfura, Mayor of Tegucigalpa; Moses Alvarado, National Commissioner of COPECO; Roy Barboza and Sequeira, Executive Secretary of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC).

The closing of the conference will take place in Colonia La Canaán located in Tegucigalpa where PADF is implementing the project "The Neighborhood Strategy in Vulnerable Communities: Risk Reduction of Natural Disasters in Tegucigalpa, Honduras," sponsored by Taiwan and in collaboration with COPECO CODEM, Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH), and the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion.

The National Commissioner for COPECO, Moses Alvarado, said "COPECO is proud to be part of this regional conference bringing together stakeholders committed to reducing disaster risk for vulnerable populations in Central America. Moreover, we believe from COPECO that the issue is critical, considering that the strengthening of local communities and their participation in prevention and mitigation mechanisms is a vital element in any plan, whether national or local, on reducing disaster risk. As a national organization, we want to share with our Central American brothers successful experiences that we have achieved in Honduras."

Central District Mayor Nasry Asfura mentioned that "it is an honor to welcome a group of leaders who serve their countries and disadvantaged communities in the region. I hope that the trade is rich and that we promote regional solidarity and also we could stand out the importance of local communities and citizen participation in government programs.

According to Liza Mantilla, Director of Disaster Management at PADF, the conference "aims to highlight the importance of local communities in disaster risk management, promote the institutionalization of neighborhood strategy at government level and also promote the creation of new partnerships between high-level officials, multilateral institutions, and local communities in Central America."

About PADF
The Pan American Development Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) which brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment organization and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean. PADF was established by the Organization of American States in 1962, and has worked in every country in the hemisphere.

PADF has impacted the lives of over 50 million people in all countries of the hemisphere through programs valued at over a billion dollars, working with the public and private sector. Today, PADF is leading the Interamerican system. During fiscal year 2013, its programs reached over 10 million people, investing $ 69 million in resources for development in 22 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname and Honduras.

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For more information, please contact:

Marco Aranda Bautista
Project Coordinator

Hearly G. Mayr
Director of COmmunications and Public Affairs

Liza Mantilla
Director of Disaster Management