Argentina: FONPLATA helps strengthen Salta’s disaster management system
Non-reimbursable technical cooperation, granted by the Development Bank, provides cutting-edge technology radio equipment to strengthen the provincial emergency communication system. A virtual ceremony was held to formally deliver the equipment. It is important to highlight that the above-mentioned agreement also includes the design of equipment-use protocol, a communication strategy for the Emergency Operations Center, training workshops for technical staff and a knowledge-transfer forum on the subject matter.
The new radio equipment will be installed in municipalities of the Argentine province of Salta, within the framework of the agreement signed between the Provincial Ministry of Safety, through its Undersecretary of Civil Defense, and FONPLATA. In 2019, the Development Bank granted a USD 104-thousand non-reimbursable technical cooperation to the project “Disaster Management: High-Risk Communication System for Natural Disasters Areas in the Province of Salta”, which aims at contributing to the development of an appropriate, modern, safe, reliable, and responsive communication system to assist the population hit by natural disasters.
“These last months, the pandemic affecting the world and, especially, our region has posed challenges that demand our adjustment to the new times. (…) Salta has high-vulnerability areas prone to suffer natural disasters and, although there are clear action protocols for assistance in case of disasters, communications play a critical role in their management. Therefore, this initiative is of great importance to strengthen the actions that are already in place”, said the Executive President of FONPLATA, Juan E. Notaro, on video broadcast, greeting and wishing success to the initiative during the virtual delivery ceremony.
The Minister of Safety of the Province of Salta, Juan Manuel Pulleiro, the Secretary-General of the Provincial Government, Matías Posadas, and FONPLATA’s Head of Technical Cooperation, José Carlos Lupo officiated the event.
The Minister of Safety thanked the Development Bank for “the contribution and the commitment to the province in the execution of this project”, and highlighted the importance of having “new radio equipment, added to the high-risk communication system with non-reimbursable funding, enabling the optimization of the emergency or other extreme situation assistance in different municipalities”.
For its part, FONPLATA’s Head of Technical Cooperation stressed the joint work with Salta to develop an “innovative project” that entails “not only the delivery of radio equipment, but also the creation of emergency protocols and tutorials, as well as other tools that will reach the whole Argentine province. Lupo added that “a new challenge had to be faced: how to carry out the training workshops, initially planned to be in person, in this new post-pandemic reality”. This adverse context finally turned into “an opportunity”: a virtual platform was created to carry out the training courses, which became not only replicable, but also scalable with regard to processes, and almost at no cost”.
Among other representatives of Salta, the Safety Secretary, Benjamín Cruz, the Undersecretary of Civil Defense, Jorge Arce, and the Rector of the Universidad Provincial de Administración Pública (Provincial University of Public Administration), Diego Wilde, participated in the virtual event. On behalf of the Provincial Government, Posadas explained that “virtual training will be provided on the use protocols and certificates will be issued to radio operators from the different municipalities” and that, as stated in the agreement, Salta will host an international meeting to exchange experiences in comprehensive risk and management disaster care, to be held in October. That positions Salta as a significant actor in the compliance with the provisions of the Sendai Framework and in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.