Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) experience a range of natural hazards, including earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, landslides, volcanoes, forest fires, and droughts. El Niño and La Niña, extreme phases of natural climate cycles, periodically exacerbate the impacts of hydrometeorological events in the LAC region. Environmental degradation and poor land-use management also increase populations’ vulnerability to natural hazards.
USAID/OFDA supports DRR programs that build resilience and improve emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response capacity at the local, national, and regional levels. USAID/OFDA focuses on strategic, context-specific programs designed to meet particular risk reduction needs in each country, with capacity-building a consistent theme across DRR activities.
In FY 2015, USAID/OFDA continued to support DRR efforts throughout LAC, providing approximately $18.8 million for DRR programs, including programs that integrate DRR with emergency response activities. Through staff based in the regional office in Costa Rica and the field office in Haiti, USAID/OFDA engaged directly with community members, national officials, and other stakeholders to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of disasters.