Focussing on a bottom-up approach, the Cluster implemented the Field-Based Preparedness Project in Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti and Ecuador. International experts and national preparedness officers teamed up to build long term inter-agency action plans to tackle logistics gaps in-country by bringing together the public, private and humanitarian sectors.
In the two biggest emergencies in the region, Haiti and Venezuela, the Field-Based Preparedness Project helped the team in-country to conduct preparedness activities where and when possible, even under a sector/operations context. In June, a National Preparedness Workshop was held in Venezuela and an Action Plan was published with relevant feedback received from the humanitarian and government sector.
Eric Itin, current focal point of the Global Logistics Cluster in LAC, describes the importance of empowering local responders, especially national and regional disaster management agencies, to increase emergency preparedness in country. Watch the video on the Logistics Cluster YouTube channel.
During 2022, the Logistics Cluster held three regional events to provide a space for national actors to come together as a larger community. The first event took place in Colombia, bringing together actors from across South America and was followed a few months after by a similar workshop in Guatemala for Central America. In each event, national and regional disaster management agencies took an active role in elaborating a common approach in preparedness for future emergencies.
The third regional event, held in Ecuador, was the first ever Logistics Response Team simulation exercise to be delivered in Spanish. The five-day simulation exercise took place in the volcano region of Cotopaxi where the participants put their response capacities to the test through a tailor-made emergency scenario.
Ad hoc trainings were conducted in Bolivia and Brazil to support local actors in addressing emergencies these countries frequently face including flooding, droughts and forest fires. After Peru was recently approved to activate the Field Based Preparedness Project, the Logistics Cluster organized the country’s first logistics preparedness workshop in October to socialize the project goals and interact with the different national partners.
Lila Ricart, who led the preparedness initiatives in LAC for the first two years, reflects on the experience: “there is something magic in building a network of responders across countries. After a few months, the pieces slowly started to come together, and we saw a family of humanitarian logisticians from and for the continent taking shape."
The national and regional events over the last three years have shown the success of preparedness efforts in LAC. Today, it is possible to observe the impact of preparedness activities as the regional community develops relationships, strategic plans, and overall capacity for emergency logistics response. For 2023, the project ensured its continuity and holds big expectations for regional collaboration, such as a Binational Workshop between Honduras and Guatemala to be held in April.
Are you working in resilience activities in Latin America and the Caribbean? Would you like to learn more about efforts to localize the Supply Chain in an emergency? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team.