Promoting Risk and Emergency Preparedness

Background Narrative

Severe climate variances have demonstrated their impact in Paraguay in recent years, testing the GOP’s ability to manage and mitigate disaster risks and further stressing vulnerable households’ ability to manage shocks and stresses caused by natural hazards. Most notably, the 2011–2012 La Niña drought strained the ability of more than 134,000 farmers to produce enough food for their families; the combination of flooding, drought, and hailstorms between 2014 and 2015 degraded agricultural productivity and community infrastructure, affecting a total of 247,000 people; and the 2015 El Niño and La Niña seasons triggered states of emergency in seven of Paraguay’s 17 departments and displaced more than 130,000 people. Smallholder farmers are often forced to absorb the greatest agriculture-sector losses due to extreme weather events, given their lack of adequate risk management mechanisms.

An international study conducted in 2015 placed Paraguay as the least-prepared country in Latin America and the Caribbean to confront climatic emergencies. Paraguayan institutions and communities affected by emergencies demonstrate a low level of preparation or adaptation capacity to cope with cyclical climatic emergencies, suffering from the same vulnerabilities year after year. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), these cyclical environmental emergencies will continue to negatively affect small producers who are dependent on natural resources for their subsistence and income activities in Paraguay.
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  • PREP program is built on the premise that the key to achieving effective interventions in disaster risk management is to build skilled human resources, improve systems for information collection and analysis, and promote strong vertical linkages among communities and institutions at the municipal, departmental, and national levels.
  • In the target departments of Caazapa and Presidente Hayes, our overall objective is to increase the ability of the Government of Paraguay and vulnerable households in program intervention areas to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to shocks and stresses caused by natural hazards using structural and nonstructural strategies that can be replicated in other communities.
  • Develop agro-climatic risk maps and socioeconomic vulnerability maps to improve agro-climatic information available to institutions and communities
  • Create and strengthen municipal councils for risk management and reduction, community-level risk management teams, first aid brigades, damage assessment and needs analysis teams, and forest fire response brigades
  • Implement horticulture plots for 500 beneficiary families in target intervention areas
  • Pilot mobile animal shelters, designed to withstand the most common natural hazards, including flash floods, windstorms, drought, and hailstorms, for the first time in Paraguay
  • Replicate the innovative floating garden model, brought to Paraguay for the first time through USAID/OFDA’s Disaster Risk Reduction in San Pedro program, implemented by ACDI/VOCA from March 2016 – May 2017
  • Train households in food preservation and planning to increase food self-sufficiency throughout the year

  • Amplified national risk management policy and practice initiatives due to increased institutional planning capacity and decentralized disaster risk reduction and response services
  • 3,120 beneficiaries with increased resilience to cyclical climatic events through targeted technical assistance, training, and inputs
  • 940 people trained in disaster preparedness, mitigation, and management
  • 2,680 people benefiting from improved agricultural production and food security
  • 1.5 months of increased food self-sufficiency for beneficiary families in communities with high food insecurity
  • 36 floating gardens implemented in the target area, expanding the 2016 pilot of 4 floating gardens

Funder: USAID/OFDA
Budget: $1.3 million
Contact: Lucas Valente da Costa, lvalentedacosta@acdivoca.org

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