International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001



Habitat at Risk: Latin American Experiences

Latin America is being affected by recurring natural disasters that cause damage to their social, physical and economic environment. But it is among the poorest sectors of the population where damage converges with their vulnerability, causing an ominous combination. However, experiences that include mechanisms for efficient prevention or emergency and reconstruction responses are limited. While focusing on immediate responses, the perspective of an integrated development may be neglected which, on occasions, leads to negative actions.

Experience shows that, in view of the impacts caused by disasters, responses are spontaneous and, therefore, lack coordination. The imminent problem, then, is not the lack of mechanisms, but the transfer of capacities as they do not always reach all affected areas on time. Along these lines, the inclusion of participatory techniques, the implementation of a management model –not only for housing construction but also for infrastructure- that incorporates risk as a major component into projects and programs; recovery and reconstruction processes from a risk perspective, and the creation of typologies based on concrete experiences and on different disaster stages, are important elements and very useful tools for different social actors to be able to strengthen their responses to these impacts and subsequent reconstructions tasks.

Along these lines, this publication makes known concrete experiences acquired in disaster situations, especially in terms of housing in Latin America. These experiences have been systematized by those institutions belonging to the CYTED XIV-G Network: “Habitat at Risk”, in order to open new spaces in risk management that touches upon housing issues, in particular within the most vulnerable sectors.

For further information, please contact:
Aurelio Ferrero
CEVE. Igualdad 3585. Villa Siburu (5003) Córdoba. Argentina
Telephone and fax number: 54351-4894442