Central America

§         How is Central America affected? Basically El Niño affects Central America in three ways: Warming of surface waters (1 to 4 meters) along the entire Pacific seaboard and slight rise of water levels along this same seaboard; very pronounced reduction of rains along the Central American pacific seaboard; and more abundant rains along the Caribbean seaboard, particularly in the southern parts of the Isthmus. 

§         Regional Action Plan to Face and Mitigate the Effects of "El Niño" This action plan was established within the framework of the “Regional Plan for Reduction of Disasters” (PRRD), by resolution # 26 of the reunion of presidents of SICA, in Guatemala, 1993.  It consists of thee aspects: regional strategy, regional sectoral strategies, and national plans. 

o       Estado de la Región The “Report on the State of the Region” has been written by the authors of the project of “Reports on Human Development for the Consolidation of Democracy and Peace in Central America”.  This initiative was funded jointly by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the European Union’s Programme for Democratization and Human Rights.  This report assesses the degree of preparedness of countries and regions for regional integration, as the means to achieve sustainable development in Central America. 

§         Antecedents of the Report on the State of the Region 

§         General Table of Contents 

§         Prologue 

§         Part I            

§         Part II            

§         Part III 

§         Statistics. 

·         Costa Rica 

·        El Salvador   

·        Guatemala 

·         Honduras 

·         Nicaragua 

·         Panama 

§         General Assessment 

§         Basic Data About the Region 

§         Regional Population Grows Quickly  

§         Conditions Improve, but Extensive Poverty Persists 

§         Economies with Different Degrees of Regional Linkage 

§         Regional Imbalances 

§         Unequal Access to Education and Health Services 

§         Differences Among Social Groups 

§         Differences in Business Climates 

§         Differences Between the Central American Pacific and the Caribbean 

§         The Challenge of Sustainable Human Development 

§         Belize

§         Costa Rica

§         El Salvador

§         Guatemala

§         Honduras

§         Nicaragua

§         Panama

§         Map

§         Chart

§         Links

§         Satellite image (NASA) 10/28/98

§         Reconstruction Project

§         Declaration of the Central American Presidents, 11/10/98 

o        Meeting of the Group of Stockholm Representatives of the Central American countries and of donor countries, as well as multilateral institutions of financial and technical cooperation convened in Stockholm between 25-28 May to discuss the process of reconstruction and transformation of Central America, following the disaster caused by hurricane Mitch.  Sweden hosted this meeting, organized by the IDB. 

·         Closing Press Release 

·        News Bulletins 

§         Number 3, 1999 

o        Plan de Acción Sector Salud “Action Plan, Health Sector” is based on resolution of the Directive Council of OPS/OMS: CD40.R13, “Health Preparations for Disasters Caused by El Niño and the Recommendations of the Central American Workshop for El Niño and its Impact on Health”, held between 3-5 November, 1997 in San José, Costa Rica.  It argues that El Niño is no longer just a hydro-meteorological phenomenon, and has become a major hazard.  This report calls for the organization of a joint response group integrated by organizations that deal with natural disasters.  It also recommends to get the population involved, and all technical and political institutions. 

o        Projects Coordinated by CEPREDENAC 

§         Documentación y Sistematización de FEMID Documentation and Systematization of FEMID.   

§         Establecimiento de Sistemas de Alerta Temprana en Comunidades y Zonas de Alto Riesgo  “Establishment of Early Alert Systems in Communities and Areas of High Risk” promotes the strengthening of local structures for preparation and mitigation of disasters, through the promotion of technical capacity, organization, coordination, and management of national and local coordinating organizations through trial projects selected in each country. 

§         Fortalecimiento de Estructuras Locales en Tareas de Mitigación de Desastres “Strengthening of Local Structures for Tasks of Mitigation of Disasters” seeks to strengthen local structures in the fields of reparation and mitigation of natural disasters. 

§         Mitigación de Desastres en Centro América “Preparation Against Earthquakes and Mitigation of Earthquake Danger in Central America. 1996-2000” seeks to promote the technical capacity of national and regional organizations for analysis of threat, prevention, and mitigation of earthquakes. 

§         Mitigación de Desastres en Centro América “Mitigation of Disasters in Central America” is a special fund created for priority projects of prevention/mitigation and strengthening of the capacity of national institutions and of CEPREDENAC (1999-2002). 

§         Programa de Acción Regional “Regional Action Program”. This project, funded by UNESCO, the government of The Netherlands, and CEPREDENAC, for the period 1999 – 2003, seeks to develop technical capacity for reduction of natural disasters caused by flooding, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanoes. 

§         Proyectos Nacionales Sistemas Alerta Temprana en Fase Final 1995-1999 “National Projects Systems of Early Alert in Final Phase 1995-1999”.  Funds of Projects of Mitigation of multi/threat, through the establishment of SAT, education, divulgation, etc. 

§         Subsidio Para la Prevención de Desastres Subsidy for Prevention of Disasters. Fund for priority projects of mitigation and prevention. 

o       Reconstruction Plans 

§         Honduras 

§         Nicaragua 

o       Regional Activities In the institutional scheme of the Central American Integration System (SICA) the regional sector organizations have identified different strategies and activities. 


·        UN Joint Disaster Response and Recovery Mission to Central America Following his visit to the region, the UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Sergio Vieira de Mello, recommended the fielding of an inter-agency mission to the four countries most seriously affected by the combination of a phenomenon of horrendous proportions, and extreme poverty, environmental degradation and poor disaster response resources.  This is the outcome of this Mission, whose objectives were: to produce, both an assessment of UN system coordination in responding to the emergency, and guidelines on how the preparedness and response capacities of the system can be further improved; to identify additional resources required by UN Country Teams for them to further support, develop, streamline, manage and monitor assistance activities during the current rehabilitation and recovery phase; and to present a set of proposals ensuring the integration of disaster reduction components in current, forthcoming and future recovery, reconstruction and development programmes.