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Haiti: we will not forget!

The United Nations family is giving an international response that proves that the world's nations have both the know-how and the will to work together in times of need. The U.N. is not there simply to reconstruct destroyed hospitals and roads, but to support Haitians in their efforts to manage a really good reconstruction and get back to normal life.

The ILO and its International Training Centre have been working closely in response to increasing concern about the magnitude of disasters and their impact on local communities worldwide. This joint effort has resulted in a capacity development programme entitled Disaster Risk Reduction and Sustainable Local Development, which the ITC-ILO runs in cooperation with the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). It is helping to set up a global network of local disaster risk and development managers.

Several training activities on this subject have been held successfully for participants from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, including a number of Haitian officials, mainly from the national civil protection system or local and national NGOs.

Haitian officials are also among the participants in a new blended course for Latin America and the Caribbean. It is currently being held at a distance; its face-to-face component will take place at the ITC-ILO from 7 to 18 June 2010.   A second workshop in English will take place in Turin from 20 September to 1 October 2010. For more information, please visit: www.itcilo.org/delnet.

A joint effort by the ITC-ILO, the UNDP Special Unit for South-South Cooperation and the  United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Secretariat (UNISDR), a publication entitled  "Local Governments and Disaster Risk Reduction: Good practices and lessons learned" has been published and is available for download at: http://www.preventionweb.net/english/professional/publications/v.php?id=13627

The good practices it describes have common features that make them successful and sustainable. They show how building the capacity of local institutions is the key to sustaining disaster risk reduction, and they demonstrate the immediate impact of local and national political commitments that institutionalize disaster risk reduction. Collaboration among local and national governments, civil society organizations and international agencies is another crucial factor.

The hope is that these good practices will generate increased interest in the subject among local governments, community leaders, implementing agencies, policy-makers and other stakeholders. And that they will inspire local governments and their partners to reduce disaster risks for the most vulnerable people by following and replicating these concrete examples.

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