Exploratory mission in Honduras: the necessity to work on disaster risk reduction
In June 2023, the team of Première Urgence Internationale conducted its second humanitarian exploratory mission in Honduras, a Central American country vulnerable to climate change and where nearly one in three inhabitants is in need of humanitarian assistance. Tinou-Paï, the emergency coordinator within Première Urgence Internationale and head of the mission for this exploratory project, reflects on the reasons and outcomes of this field experience.
Firstly, what is an exploratory mission?
An exploratory mission is an essential step for any new humanitarian response, as it allows for assessing the relevance of intervening in an area or country where the NGO is not yet present. It has multiple objectives, three of which can be highlighted:
- Assessing humanitarian access in an area where a vulnerable population has been affected by a crisis – caused by war, economic collapse, natural disaster, or a public health emergency.
- Analyzing the priority humanitarian needs of this population, including food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, primary healthcare, mental health and psychosocial support, protection, and shelter, in order to define an appropriate response strategy.
- Evaluating the necessary modalities from legal, administrative, logistical, financial, and human resource perspectives, to be able to launch an emergency operation and establish a humanitarian mission.
Why conduct an exploratory mission in Honduras?
Honduras was chosen for several reasons. The country is facing multiple and multidimensional crises. It is worth noting that Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, where one out of every two people lives in poverty. Honduras has been dealing with chronic insecurity for many decades, which has resulted in significant protection and violence issues for the population. It notably has the highest femicide rate in the world. Moreover, Honduras is extremely exposed to climate change, including phenomena such as El Nino-induced drought and the two hurricanes that struck the country in 2020, Eta and Iota.
Due to these various reasons, the Urgent Team of Première Urgence Internationale has observed a deterioration in the country’s humanitarian situation, with the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance almost tripling between 2020 and 2023, rising from 1.2 million to over 3 million people.