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

In the Spotlight: Communities


Progress in the IMSS Solidarity Program
in South Veracruz, Mexico

The Solidarity Program of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which aims to involve the community through participatory approaches to emergency response and other public health issues, has been working closely with the Civil Protection Directorate of Veracruz State.

Three officials of the Directorate’s Training Department have participated in a course by the Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (OFDA-USAID) The course had originally been intended for IMSS Solidarity personnel, but a coordination agreement made it possible for the Civil Protection staff to participate. At present, plans are underway for two other groups to take part in such courses: a group of State government officials, and another of Federal officials, involved in disaster response. The goal is to start off with a train-the-trainer course for municipal officials in charge of disaster response from those parts of the State most at risk from natural disasters.

Veracruz has a total of 210 municipalities. Some 90 municipal personnel will be trained as trainers who can provide region-specific capacity building for officials working at the local level. A third stage would involve training local community leaders. This would call for the compilation or development of training materials suitable for urban, rural, and indigenous leaders.

Over 600 risk maps have been developed so far, and 1,051 rural health assistants have been involved in the initiative, as have 1,300 Local Health Committees and 9,567 Volunteer Health Promoters who will be trained in community monitoring and the establishment of Community First-Response Brigades.

At the same time, the Program is encouraging prevention and greater awareness of local risks and risk reduction measures. The local risk maps have been a great help in this regard. The focus now will be on monitoring activities and emergency response drills.

For more information, please contact:
Lic. Domingo Velásquez
Supervisor Delegacional de Acción Comunitaria
Región Uno Orizaba