Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Department Program

Background Narrative

Severe climate variances have impacted Paraguay in recent years, displacing thousands of people and affecting livelihoods in both rural and urban areas. The Paraguay National Atlas of Disaster Risks 2018 names cyclical flooding, severe storms, forest fires, and drought among the most significant adverse events in the country. The Central Department, the most populated department in the country with over two million residing in the peri-urban and rural municipalities surrounding the country’s capital of Asunción, is one of the most vulnerable.

Due to its location in a cyclically flooded basin where two of the country’s rivers–the Paraguay and the Pilcomayo–intersect, communities are continuously affected by cyclical flooding that severely distresses their livelihoods and leaves thousands of victims. By the end of 2018, the Paraguay river had risen to a height of six meters, displacing 7,439 families.

The Disaster Risk Reduction in Central Department (DRRCD) program, funded by USAID and the Office for U.S Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), has been created to help build risk management capacity, increase food security, and promote protection in target areas using replicable models and methodologies that address climate related shocks and stresses.

Project Objectives

  • Risk Management Policy and Practice: Provide the national government and local actors with tools and capacities to   proactively monitor and manage risks
  • Agriculture and Food Security: Increase sustainable food production for households vulnerable to cyclical climatic events
  • Protection: Promote individual and collective resilience to cope with climate-related disasters and help restore social cohesion

Project Activities and Approaches

  • Strengthen national disaster risk management institutional capacity through the strengthening of community, municipal, and departmental risk management and reduction organizations through vertical linkages to these entities and providing technical assistance and training at each level
  • Focus on 8-10 target communities that are most vulnerable in the municipalities of Limpio and Villeta, implementing activities to reduce socioeconomic vulnerabilities to climate-related disasters
  • Raise awareness and sensitivity regarding gender, age, ethnicity, disability and high risk populations, identifying their barriers to participation and focusing on effective methods of inclusion
  • Collaborate with public and private stakeholders in designing and testing new technologies to help local communities respond to and recover from disaster-related risks affecting their food security and livelihoods.

Anticipated Project Results

· To date, DRRCD has delivered 450 (390 urban and 60 rural) gardens to communities in Limpio and Villeta and is providing food management, processing, and nutrition technical assistance in conjunction with municipal officials and government experts, reaching 113 percent of target beneficiaries and improving 128 percent hectares of land.
· DRRCD is issuing in-kind grants for chicken coops and fishing kits. To date, 10 chicken coops have been delivered to community beneficiaries in Villeta and 202 people have attended preparatory fishing training sessions, which is higher than the targeted beneficiaries and demonstrates strong community interest in training and technical assistance.

Funder: USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance

Chief of Party: Enrique Villalba, evillalba@acdivoca-py.org

Project Specialist: Abraham Cruz, acruz@acdivoca.org

related News

Boosting Food Self-Sufficiency and Household Income in Paraguay

In 2017, a severe storm damaged the home and livelihood of Sonia Hortigosa, 35, who lives in Caracarai, in southeastern …

ACDI/VOCA Paraguay PREP volunteer firefighters

Volunteer Firefighters in Paraguay Protect and Prepare Communities

Alcides Aguilera is a teacher of physical education and the Guarani language in the city of Caazapá, but he is …

How a Home Garden Helped a Family in Paraguay Recover After Disaster

In April 2018, a tornado blew down the trees surrounding Bonifacia Vera’s home, leaving a pile of rubble behind. Bonifacia …