Haiti’s Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) and partners are preparing for the hurricane season
Preparedness for the hurricane season, which began on 1 June and will continue until 30 November, is currently a top priority for OCHA, its humanitarian partners and development organizations in Haiti, all who are working closely with Haiti’s Civil Protection Directorate (DPC).
While the DPC has well established structures and communication procedures in place on national, departmental and local levels, including an early warning system, it still faces operational challenges. For example, the Emergency Operation Centers in the departments (COUD – Centres d’Opérations d’Urgence Départementaux) generally lack resources such as sufficient fuel, water supplies, telecommunication/internet and human resources. There is also a need at the governmental level for strengthened capacities in response coordination, needs assessments and information management/data analysis.
Following several field missions to look at COUDs in the Nord, Nord-Ouest, Nord-Est, Sud and Nippes departments, OCHA and the DPC has engaged with the private sector to establish partnerships in order to improve operational capacities. For example, discussions with two mobile providers are ongoing to provide COUDs with free internet and key DPC staff with free mobile credits in case of emergency.
In order to improve coordination between humanitarian and military actors following large scale natural disasters, OCHA Geneva (CMCS) recently conducted a Civil-Military Coordination (CMCoord) mission to Haiti in order to sensitize key actors on CMCoord and kick off the revision of country-specific CMCoord guidelines.
Other joint preparedness activities currently underway include pre-positioning and mapping of relief stocks, emergency shelter rehabilitation, sensitization of at-risk populations and conducting of simulation exercises and capacity building efforts for key stakeholders including the Departmental Coordinators of the DPC (CTD – Coordonateur Techique Départemental).
A dedicated working group is actively working on mainstreaming Protection and Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) in all preparedness activities, in part through inclusion of modules on these topics in all trainings, and by ensuring better coordination in the areas of sensitization/prevention, complaints mechanisms and victim’s assistance.