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International Meeting - Hospitals in Disasters: Handle with Care
This international meeting of experts, sponsored by international agencies, was held in El Salvador from July 8-10, 2003 to examine three key areas: disaster mitigation in hospitals, hospital evacuation and the use of field hospitals in the aftermath of natural disasters. This new sites includes background documents and the conclusions and recommendations of the working groups. (More)

Donations in-kind for the Iraq Crisis: Guidance to Donors
The United Nations has received many offers of in-kind humanitarian assistance—donations of goods or personnel—for Iraq and requests for advice on how aid might best be provided. View the guidelines prepared for potential donors, including a list of key agency contacts for emergency in-kind contributions. Specific guidelines on field hospitals and drug donations are also included.

Course on Chemical Accidents
An annual international course on preparedness, mitigation and response to accidents caused by dangerous chemical substances, organized by the Brazilian Company for Technology of Environmental Sanitation (CETESB) and the support of PAHO, will be held this coming November.
Course details (in Spanish)

Healthy Housing is a Part of PAHO
VIVISAL, short for "Vivienda Saludable" or healthy housing, is a new PAHO initiative to provide housing and health services for families left homeless after the earthquakes that struck El Salvador in January and February 2001. In honor of PAHO's centennial, the 100 houses will be numbered from 1902 to 2002. A team of engineers from PAHO's El Salvador office developed the prototype. These houses are low-cost but more resistant to damage from earthquakes and other natural hazards. In addition to helping families devastated by the disaster, El Salvador's Vice Ministry of Housing has adopted the model as the basis for rural reconstruction throughout the country.

Health Planning for a Volcanic Crisis
This video presents images of volcanic eruptions, expert opinions, scientific information and lessons learned from many recent emergencies combined in 36 minutes. This video also explains the principal health risks posed by volcanic eruptions. In addition, it includes basic steps of what health sectors should do in order to reduce potential damages.

Hemispheric Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
The heads of state of Western Hemisphere countries met in Quebec City April 20-22, 2001 for the "Third Summit of the Americas." Their "Plan of Action" committed to reducing the vulnerability of countries to natural disasters. As a follow up, the governments of Costa Rica and the U.S. will convene this conference on disaster risk reduction, with an emphasis on prevention and mitigation and their relationship to development. PAHO is responsible for health topics, which will include disaster mitigation in health care facilities and water systems.

Hurricane Michelle, Bahamas: Ministry of Health Assessment Results Following Hurricane Michelle
The Health Disaster Committee was activated. A meeting was convened by the Minister of Health. The Public Health Department Command Centre has been set at the Ministry of Health.

SUMA Receives Stockholm Challenge Award
SUMA, the Pan American Health Organization’s Humanitarian Supply Management System, was awarded the Stockholm Challenge Award in the category Health and Quality of Life. In announcing the prize, the jury stated “the Pan American Health Organisation has definitely joined the ranks of pioneers of the information society for all. Most importantly, SUMA has proven that information and communications can deliver enormous benefits to people at times when they are at their most fragile and vulnerable. SUMA has indeed transformed into an effective operation the confused and chaotic effort of inventory, priority, and distribution of emergency relief to victims of disasters

Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations: A Quick Guide for Effective Donations
This brochure is a shortened version of the Guide for Effective Aid .It is ideal for a widespread distribution to agencies or individuals who may provide disaster assistance.

World Disaster Reduction Day
The annual observance of World Disaster Reduction Day on the second Wednesday in October offers an opportunity for the world community to focus attention on preventing natural disasters and improving the way we deal with the consequences. "Countering disasters, targeting vulnerability" was the slogan of this year's celebration on October 10.

Ministry of Health of Belize: Assessment Results Following Hurricane Iris 9 October 2001
The Ministry of Health's Command Center was established in Belmopan under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer on Monday, 8th October, 2001 at 1:00 p.m. Permanent representation of the Ministry of Health at NEMO Head Quarters was also established.

Agencies Meet to Discuss a Common Logistical Support System
Agencies Meet to Discuss a Common Logistical Support System. More than 50 logistics experts from international organizations, which make up a roll call of those most frequently in the forefront of disaster response came together last week to discuss logistics management systems for humanitarian assistance in disaster situations. The workshop was a joint initiative of the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Food Program (WFP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).