WFP and OCHA Educate On Humanitarian Assistance

The National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Attention (SINAPRED) of Nicaragua, government institutions, the United Nations Emergency Technical Team (UNETE), participated in a Category 5 Hurricane simulation with the aim of strengthening the process of coordination and operations, combined with humanitarian assistance.

The simulation was part of an initiative of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPEDRENAC,) the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme that was also implemented in Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

“The objective from this exercise is to strengthen the institutions’ capacities to respond to an emergency in the most optimal and efficient manner, especially in an area where food security and nutrition is an ongoing concern,” said WFP Representative Helmut W. Rauch during the inauguration of this event.

The simulation was held over a 3-day period in the SINAPRED and WFP offices. The forum consisted of instruments and tools of humanitarian assistance and the simulation exemplified the impact that a Category 5 Hurricane would cause at a national level. On the third day an evaluation of the simulation was conducted, thereafter an action plan will be elaborated for institution-building.

A country vulnerable to disasters
Nicaragua is notably vulnerable to natural disasters. Between 1992 and 2011, it ranked 3rd place between the countries most affected by natural disasters the Climate Change Performance Index “Germanwatch.”

“This exercise demonstrates the necessity to strengthen human capital in times where natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more intense,” states Guillermo González, Executive Secretary of SINAPRED. “When looking at emergency situation, it is required to have technical capacity but most of all possess a lot of passion and have the clear goal of saving human lives in mind at all times,” explains González.

In the simulation, WFP Regional Officer Andrew Stanhope, and consultant in emergencies simulations Carlos Cruz, worked cohesively. “What we are seeking is that all national actors better understand how humanitarian logistics works throughout the world,” expresses Stanhope.
The workshop counted on the collaboration of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and had the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).