Since early 2018, Nicaragua has been rocked by civil unrest, which has caused further vulnerabilities in a country already experiencing poverty and at risk for natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and landslides. Health systems, as well as water and sanitation systems, are often inadequate for many rural communities in Nicaragua, leaving people at risk, most notably women and children.
Since 1998, the Canadian Red Cross has been working in Nicaragua, with programs that have helped improve healthcare in vulnerable communities, violence prevention projects, and strengthening the Nicaraguan Red Cross’ capacity to respond to disasters and emergencies.

Building a stronger Nicaraguan Red Cross

A community of people in Nicaragua, gathered and smiling for a group photoThe Canadian Red Cross has partnered with the Nicaraguan Red Cross as part of the Capacity Building for Emergency Response in Americas (CERA) initiative, made possible through the support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada. Since 2014, this five-year initiative strengthens the emergency response capacity of partner Red Cross National Societies in the Americas, enabling them to be better prepared for, respond to, and recover from crisis situations and lead humanitarian response efforts.

Efforts through the CERA initiative include development of systems and policies, emergency management preparedness, contingency planning, logistics systems for equipment and supplies, as well as specialized training for staff and volunteers.

The training and equipment provided through CERA has been put into action in Nicaragua. Responses like life-saving ambulance support during the civil unrest have used new communication equipment and skills. Also, the Nicaraguan Red Cross is using their CERA training to be ready before disasters and emergencies occur, like preparations made before tropical storms or hurricanes hit.  

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