A theoretical and practical workshop on National USAR coordination was held in Honduras from 24 to 26 January. The objective of the workshop included the review of national USAR coordination protocols/procedures as well as the use of coordination and information management tools available to National USAR groups, and a small-scale Earthquake Response Exercise simulating a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Tegucigalpa to test national protocols. Participating institutions include the Secretary of State in the Offices of Risk Management and National Contingencies (COPECO), Honduran Fire Department, Honduran Red Cross, Honduran Armed Forces and several observers.
The Panama National Accreditation Process Course took place from 12 to 16 December in Panama City. This course is a component of the Disaster Risk Governance Project, financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and organized and implemented by OCHA and UNDP. This course is set to strengthen and align the national system in place to INSARAG´s international standards in preparation for the INSARAG Recognized National Accreditation Process (IRNAP) certification. The course hosted 29 professionals from SINAPROC, the Social Security Fund, National Air and Naval Service (SENAN), National Border Service (SENAFRONT), Panamanian Red Cross, Civil Aeronautics Authority in Panama, and the National Fire Brigade, who will become key members of the Panamanian USAR Accreditation Committee, including mentors, evaluators and members of the verification exercise control team.