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

Partners in action


The water sector recognizes risk
management is a key element 1

At the World Water Forum, held in Mexico, risk management was one of the themes around which priorities and strategies were defined to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the context of the Forum, PAHO/WHO, jointly with the ISDR, UNICEF and the IFRC, brought together a number of players in the water and sanitation sector, at both rural and urban levels, to define how each institution contributes to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action, which is the global blueprint for building disaster resilience.

Photo: J.Jenkins PAHO/WHO

One of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals is to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation services

It is necessary to incorporate risk management into new water and sanitation infrastructure projects, in order to reduce the vulnerability of these systems to disasters. This, in turn, will increase coverage of these critical services and contribute to achieving the MDGs.

Water and sanitation institutions need to take an active role in national and local risk management platforms and, together with local authorities, determine what constitutes a minimum level of service provision in emergency situations. This will help define appropriate disaster preparedness, prevention and mitigation actions. This important fact was highlighted at the forum.

Between 1994 and 2003, in Latin American and the Caribbean, natural disasters:

  • Damaged 2,100 urban water systems.
  • Affected 4,500 rural aqueducts.
  • Destroyed 28,000 wells and 173,000 latrines.
  • Caused losses in the amount of $650 million within the water and sanitation sector.

For further information on the World Water Forum, please visit: