Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and Caribbean
The Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean is the international delegation of the French Red Cross for the Caribbean region. PIRAC has been responding to emergencies and supporting resilience-building initiatives in the Caribbean since 2005, working closely with the Red Cross volunteer and salaried networks in these territories.
By relying on the Red Cross network in the Caribbean, close to the communities and local institutions, PIRAC comes to the aid of the region’s populations in all major disasters. PIRAC also works to develop capacity building activities to strengthen the resilience of Caribbean communities.
PIRAC has its coordination offices in Guadeloupe and has teams and emergency resources located in various French territories in the region, particularly in Martinique and Guyana, as well as in Haiti.
Following the Hurricane Ivan which hit the Caribbean island of Grenada in 2004, the French Red Cross deployed an emergency operation in support of the Grenada Red Cross. Following this action, the French Red Cross, in partnership with the Haitian Red Cross and thanks to the communities of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guyana, set up PIRAC, a major vector of regional cooperation and humanitarian assistance in the Caribbean.
In 2020 the French Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies established a cooperation and coordination agreement making PIRAC the key disaster management mechanism within the regional crisis management system of the International Red Cross Movement.
Area of action
PIRAC’s priority area of action includes the countries and territories of the Caribbean island arc, including in particular the island territories of the Lesser Antilles. PIRAC is also active in the Guyana Plateau, Guyana and Suriname. PIRAC also intervenes in the French territories of these regions, in the West Indies and French Guiana in particular in the framework of regional cooperation projects or programs dealing with common issues to the Caribbean region: management of natural disasters’ risks, health crises and adaptation to climate change.
In emergency situations, PIRAC may be called upon to intervene throughout the Caribbean basin, as it was the case in 2020 in response to the major hurricanes Eta and Iota which hit Central America and led PIRAC to deploy humanitarian resources to Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
IN A CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE, WE WANT TO IMPROVE THE RESILIENCE OF VULNERABLE CARIBBEAN POPULATIONS EXPOSED TO NATURAL AND HEALTH RISKS
Among these emergency operations, 19% were conducted in the French Caribbean territories and 81% internationally.
Most of operations were disasters related to devastating natural hazards, 50% were cyclonic phenomena (hurricanes, tropical storms). Epidemics have become a major cause of emergency response in recent years as it occured in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic in 8 Caribbean countries and territories. PIRAC has also intervened following technological crises that have generated social impacts (malfunctioning, water supply, energy blackout).
OUR REGIONAL INTERVENTION PLATFORM HAS SET 3 STRATEGIC OPERATIONAL PRIORITIES
We also aim to strengthen the technical, social and environmental quality of all its actions.
To increase the preparedness of Caribbean populations for natural and health hazards in the context of climate change adaptation and inclusion.
Increase the capacity of Caribbean emergency actors to provide an effective humanitarian response to the basic needs of disaster-affected populations.
Raise Crisis and Disaster Risk Management to the top of the institutional, humanitarian and citizen agendas in the Caribbean.
PIRAC’s tools in disaster response management
- A specific agreement signed in 2012 with the International Federation of the Red Cross Movement (IFRC) mandating PIRAC/French Red Cross to respond to the disaster in the Lesser Antilles.
- Stocks of non-food humanitarian items pre-positioned in Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana: 2500 families potentially benefiting.
- Regional intervention teams, from our territories , specialized and/or generalists, that can be deployed anywhere in the Caribbean region within 48 hours.
- Projects to strengthen individual and coordinated response capacities at the regional level.
French Red Cross own funds.
Regionalized European funds: INTERREG – FEDER
Governmental funds: FCR, Embassy of France of Saint Lucia, Regional Councils 971, 972, 973
DIPECHO (DG ECHO – European Commission)
ECHO (DG ECHO – European Commission)