Panama: Humanitarian Hub

Posted on 2018-09-26


Natural disasters give no respite to the region. The first hours are crucial for evacuating, saving lives, rescuing, caring for the wounded and taking emergency measures. The guarantee of provision of human resources and supplies and materials is life or death. “The capacity that Panama has as a logistic, maritime and air transport hub and additional financial hub, deserved its evolution towards a humanitarian hub. After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 it became clear that the region did not have an efficient professional center for the dispatch of humanitarian aid immediately when emergencies occurred, “says María Luisa Navarro, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A government decision took the turn to place Panama as a global reference for humanitarian response, along with four other centers in the world: Dubai, port of Gran Canaria, Italy, Kuala Lumpur for Asia and Africa. Panama is in the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance, an opening point in Panama Pacifico.
The country is already on the world map of the channeling of humanitarian aid for several years, as the regional organization of administrative and coordination operations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. United Nations agencies, such as the World Food Fund and the Humanitarian Response Deposit.
There was only one place where these organisms and local actors such as the National System of Civil Protection (Sinaproc) were established, efficiently managed their resources and inventories and interact in line with the rapid response that the region.
The Project of the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance seeks to group the aid forces and takes as a reference the model of the human city of Dubai, the largest in the world.

Located right next to the Panama Pacifico airport, the center consists of three warehouses with a capacity of more than 12 thousand square meters. It is ready to go into operations in the coming weeks. It records an advance of more than 96%, and will open in November. It has cold rooms and has sufficient water supply.
The project follows a master plan that includes its future expansion for new warehouses in other areas and the construction phase of the taxiways and the direct connection of the warehouses to the Panama Pacifico airport, which will be a task for future administrations.
Navarro notes that the country not only gains global prestige, but also has an experience of availability of resources and inputs for a response to local and international emergencies, and also the opportunity to train and acquire knowledge. “This is a model designed for the reality of the region and is the establishment in Latin America of a center with a global network that allows rapid access to communications and supply logistics to respond to calls for help.”
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has an office next to the Humanitarian Response Depot of the United Nations Organization (UNHDR), which coordinates the administration and administration of inventories to send other partners of the UN as the World Food Program.


Source: Martes Financiero