Nicaragua is a country affected by different natural hazards, mainly earthquakes, volcano eruptions, hurricanes and flooding (Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015, UNISDR). The average annual loss (AAL) caused by hazards has been estimated as 111 million USD.
Due to its geography and poverty levels, Nicaragua remains highly vulnerable when dealing with earthquakes, volcano eruptions, flooding, landslides, hurricanes, droughts, and tsunamis. Regarding hurricanes and tropical storms, the estimated population at risk in Nicaragua is 25.4%, equivalent to 1.3 million inhabitants, while droughts affect almost the 45% of the population.
Nicaragua is the second most exposed country in the world to tropical storms. As seen in recent disasters, such as hurricanes Juana, Mitch and Félix and earthquakes in Managua and Masaya, poor people are more likely to be adversely affected, presenting high vulnerability levels due, above all, to the use of inadequate building materials. Moreover, when impacted by the disaster, they deal with greater constrains to cover contingent costs.
The Nicaraguan Army and the institutions within the National System for Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Response (Sistema Nacional para la Prevención, Mitigación y Atención) have executed 95 projects on Disaster Risk Management and conducted training programs in 145 Municipalities. More than 4,200 response plans have been developed and 1,200 simulation exercises have taken place, involving 12,000 brigade volunteers, 12,000 troops and a support network composed of police, fire fighters and medical staff, all of them integrated in the emergency plans.
However, in most rural municipalities risk management plans are outdated and the composition of the Municipal Committees for Disaster Prevention (COMUPRED, Comités Municipales de Prevención de Desastres) and Local Committees for Disaster Prevention (COLOPRED, Comités Locales de Prevención de Desastres) frequently changes, so most of the members have limited experience. The lack of information management in real time often delays the decision making, such as in the dengue outbreak that affected more than 8,000 people in 2013 and was caused by a new serotype.
Despite the fact that the National System for Disaster Prevention (SINAPRED) has been promoting the existing legal framework and the political strategy to enhance coordination in reducing the risk of disasters in the country, the operationalization of preparedness and response plans is affected by a lack of financial resources.
Nicaragua is one of the countries in Central America with the best indicators on public safety with respect to robbery, homicide, presence of criminal gangs, kidnapping, etc. However, basic security and safety rules will apply both to the individual (not carrying much cash, not walking alone on the streets at night, keep an eye on handbags, backpacks and valuable personal items, etc.) and to the dwelling house, especially at night and in Managua.
The volunteer will be hosted by GVC Nicaragua, responsible of coordination and implementation of activities at national level. The volunteer will also work in direct coordination with local implementing partners aiming to building local community resilience to disasters.
We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independency.
We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.
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