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October 31, 2018
Learning from Disaster Experience "Hurricane Mitch 20 Years Event"

For 3 days from October 29 to 31, 2018, JICA supported an event (Mitch+20) in Tegucigalpa city, Honduras in commemoration to the 20th anniversary after the great Hurricane Mitch's passing for the purpose of passing down experiences of the disasters and responding to vulnerabilities before the future natural events.

In October 1998, the great Hurricane Mitch hit the countries in the Central America and caused severe damages. As a result, each country has been taking due measures to reduce the risk of natural disasters, where JICA has been providing a technical assistance in order not to repeat such tragedies again. This year marks the milestone of the 20 years after the Hurricane Mitch's passing.

Not to forget the learning of 20 years

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High-level dialogue with the members of the international cooperation in the Regional Meeting of the Mitch+20 event

On October 31, 2018, the Coordination Center for the Disaster Prevention in Central America and Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC) held a regional meeting to 20 years after the Hurricane Mitch. In this event, the institutions that are in charge of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the Central American countries, mayors of the Local Governments and members of the International Cooperation (JICA, UNISDR, GIZ, USAID, ECHO, World Bank and others) gathered.

The representative of CEPREDENAC mentioned that over 20 years after the affliction caused by the Hurricane Mitch, the Central American countries have prepared mechanisms for DRR against natural disasters and for emergency response. He also showed appreciation to the donors including JICA for supporting the disaster risk reduction. Mr. Norio FUKUTA, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Honduras, expressed that Japan is a vulnerable territory to suffer natural disasters, so it reflects a lot on this issue. He also emphasized that having a culture of DRR is a key to address the natural disasters.

In the high-level dialogue between the heads of DRR institutions and the mayors of local government, many of them made a presentation and showed their appreciation to the JICA Project on Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Management in Central America "BOSAI" Phase 2. Likewise, in the donor dialogue, Mr. Goto, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction Group in JICA, emphasized the importance of a planning of DRR and a pre-investment based on that, and the necessity of a strengthening to address the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. It was recognized among the participants the importance of the pre-investment in the disaster risk reduction, as well as disaster emergency response.

Disaster awareness activities

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Awareness raising activities on natural disasters by the BOSAI-2 Project

The day before the Regional Meeting on the Mitch 20 years, the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) of Honduras conducted a drill at the "Cerro El Berrinche", one of the areas most affected by the passing of the Hurricane Mitch, to raise awareness about DRR. For the learning of the visitors, rescue training was carried out and JICA exhibited a booth of the activities of the BOSAI-2 Project.

1,300 junior high school students, local residents, companies and organizations related to DRR participated in the event. JICA's long-term experts and their counterpart organizations explained the activities of the BOSAI-2 Project. In this way, JICA has contributed to the awareness raising for DRR.

Strengthening DRR Capacity in Central American Countries through the JICA Technical Cooperation Project

As a part of the Mitch+20 event, the Regional Meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of the BOSAI-2 Project was held. The heads of the DRR institutions in the six (6) Central American countries that manage the BOSAI-2 Project (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) and JICA experts got together at this JCC to discuss how to improve the quality of the Project. At the reporting on their activities from each institution, the Commissioner of COPECO appreciated the cooperation that Japan has given to Honduras, not only in technical assistance but also in construction of the mitigation works against the threats of landslides and floods.

The JCC showed the strengths of the BOSAI-2 Project through the mutual learning of each DRR institution in the six countries.

To reduce future natural disaster risks in Central America, JICA will continue working together with the DRR institutions in the Central American region.

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Regional Meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee of the BOSAI-2 Project

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