Creation and strengthening of specialized institutions

tte new political orientation is leading some countries to create new inter-institutional and sector integrated systems for disaster prevention and response. Other countries are initiating modernization of the national agencies specializing in disaster mitigation.

Some governments have created regional institutions, such as the International Center for the Research of El NiƱo Phenomenon (CIIFEN), aimed at promoting, complementing and starting scientific and applied research projects, necessary to improve the understanding and early warning of the ENSO and the climate variability at a regional scale. Projects such as the Disaster Prevention in the Andean Community (PREDECAN) contribute to vulnerability reduction of the populations and of the material goods that are exposed to danger and natural risks in the countries of the Andean Community of Nations, tte Network of Social Studies for Disaster Prevention in Latin America (tte Network), which is constituted by nongovernmental institutions and researchers in all the region, informs and advises the governments about their policies and gives advise to other regional and international organizations.

tte United Nations agencies also provide support to the region to improve prevention and response to disasters, and they constitute a considerable resource. It is worth mentioning the work of the Economic Commission for Latin America (CE-PAL) in the assessment of the economic impacts of natural disasters, ttese evaluations provide important information for planning reconstruction and prevention purposes.

Institutions such as UNDP, UNESCO, WMO, FAO, CAF, IDB and the World Bank are promoting the necessary scientific capacity building to reduce risks. With important bilateral assistance from Europe, Japan, Canada, the United States and some other countries, national efforts are being promoted by means of regional, national and local projects to evaluate risks, and for preparedness in case of an emergency situation and prevention.

tte local non-governmental organizations and the civil society of the Americas are playing an important role in the prevention and response to natural disasters, and in many cases with support from international NGOs.

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