Meeting of Initial Evaluation of the Pacific Disaster Center

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, June 22, 2016

I am very happy that the internationally recognized Pacific Disaster Center, an applied research center of the University of Hawaii, is here to work closely with our Nicaraguan partners, particularly SINAPRED and Civil Defense, to carry out this project.  This meeting and the subsequent evaluation mark a milestone in our mutual objective of improving the capacity for prevention and preparedness in case of disasters.  The recent 6.3 earthquake in Chinandega is a reminder of how important this work is.  However, those who work in the SINAPRED and Civil Defense already know this.

The memory of the 1972 earthquake motivates its excellent service to the people of Nicaragua.  This project would not have been possible without the strong relationship that exists between Civil Defense, and SINAPRED by Nicaragua and the Southern Command and USAID by the U.S. government.  This work is based on successful collaboration of the past and I thank Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez and Colonel Flores for their support.

This project is impressive both in its scope and in its objectives.  The initial evaluation will focus on the identification of risks and vulnerability, as well as the analysis of existing disaster management capacities.  This will reach beyond Managua, to all areas of the country, to identify the conditions at the national and departmental level that influence the capacity of preparation and response.  During the initial evaluation and afterwards, we will work together to strengthen the culture of prevention that reinforces disaster preparedness, safety and well-being of all Nicaraguans, which is the most important reason for carrying out this work.

Today’s preparation can save lives and minimize economic loss in the future. It is also a valuable opportunity for Nicaragua to contribute to disaster preparedness worldwide, working in accordance with internationally adopted disaster risk reduction strategies.  With similar efforts in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras and in collaboration with the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America (CEPREDENAC), Nicaragua will make a substantial and practical difference with its contribution in the national and regional strategies of the disaster risk reduction.

I wish you success in this important task and I look forward to seeing the results!

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