Costa Rica: Preparing for emergencies

The MSF Regional Office (CRO) in San José, Costa Rica, was set up in 1992. The office facilitates emergency preparation and response in Latin America and the Caribbean. In late 1999, the CRO made an initial evaluation after floods in Mexico and again after landslides in Venezuela. But a large part of the CRO's recent work has been related to the ongoing rehabilitation after Hurricane Mitch struck Central America in late 1998. Shipments of flood equipment were sent to Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala in late 1999. The CRO also works with five other organizations to maintain the Regional Center for Information and Disasters in San José. This center houses thousands of documents, technical reports and specialized magazines which are used for training and communication. MSF has responded to about 30 emergencies in the region over the last three and a half years.