What is the PIRAC?
The Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC), of the French Red Cross, was created within the framework of the program Interreg III-B, March 19, 2005. This was done in partnership with the Haitian Red Cross and the regional disaster response unit of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) named PADRU.
Following the example of the platforms for the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean (PIROI/PIROPS), the Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) intervenes in all the countries of the Caribbean and the Guiana Shield in the realm of disaster management: prevention, preparation, response and reconstruction.
Since its creation in 2005, the Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean (PIRAC) has intervened 12 times in the region in emergency situations. It also manages, on a day to day basis, regional disaster management programs/projects.
In this way, the PIRAC develops activities which allow National Societies of the Red Cross, delegations of the French Red Cross and auxiliaries to government in the zone, to better prepare for intervening in the event of natural disasters (i.e., training of intervention teams, simulation exercises, prevention, preparation, emergency response and reconstruction...).
The PIRAC is managed by the regional delegation of the French Red Cross which is based in Guadeloupe. This office has seven (7) staff members who coordinate and support the activities underway in the 11 different territories: Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Haiti, St Martin, St Barthélémy, and Guyana.
Over the last ten years, one has seen an intensification of natural disasters in the Caribbean, linked in part to global warming which affects the temperature of the oceans and the trajectory of hurricanes. Due to their isolation, islands very often have difficulty dealing with the consequences of such disasters.
The primary objective of the PIRAC is to strengthen, within each country, inter-Caribbean cooperation in responding to natural disasters. This is accomplished via the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in the sharing of human and material resources and in organizing, at the regional level, an operational response to emergencies.
Zones of intervention
The PIRAC covers the Lesser Antilles, the Greater Antilles, as well as the Guiana Shield.
- Lesser Antilles: Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Barthélémy, St Martin, Grenada, Dominica, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda.
- Greater Antilles: Haiti, Jamaica
- Guiana Shield: French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname
The PIRAC maintains regular contact in the zone with five (5) territorial delegations of the French Red Cross, 16 National Societies, 6 PNS (Participating National Society) permanently present in the region, three (3) regional entities of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Areas of Intervention
- Distribution of kits : hygiene kit, shelter kit, kitchen set, shelter tools
- Provision of potable water
- Basic health care
- Reconstruction of shelters
In addition to emergency interventions, preparing communities for disasters helps to reduce their vulnerability.