The US and Spain are sponsoring a disaster response center for Central America which is being located at El Salvador's international airport. From a US State Department press release:
In response to the recurrent natural disasters plaguing Central America, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP), with support from Spain and the United States, inaugurated a regional humanitarian response center in San Salvador June 21....
U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Charles Glazer said, “We all know that Central America is vulnerable to natural disasters. We cannot prevent them. However we can be ready for them when they happen.”
To be ready for the next disaster, WFP has secured a 1,500-square-meter warehouse at San Salvador's international airport to stock emergency food and supplies. Currently, the facility holds 150 tons of high-energy biscuits – enough to feed 100,000 people for five days – as well as 22 water tanks, inflatable boats, and kitchen and hygiene equipment.
According to WFP Logistics Manager for El Salvador Andrew Stanhope, warehouse space also will be available to other humanitarian relief agencies such as CARE, UNICEF and World Vision. He told USINFO that it makes no sense for various organizations to stock and ship their emergency supplies independently. This often results in duplication of efforts and unnecessary transport costs.
WFP is leading the U.N. reform efforts in the area of logistics, Stanhope said. By consolidating emergency relief supplies from various U.N. agencies and other organizations in one location, it can reduce costs and increase efficiency of delivery.
Stanhope already has made contingency arrangements with local transportation agencies to ship supplies to any part of Central America on a moment's notice. And, although he prefers overland shipments, he also has direct access to the San Salvador airport runway. The plan is to have supplies delivered to the emergency zone within 24 hours of a disaster and provide critical first-response assistance until other aid arrives.
The logistics manager said he already is laying plans to expand the operation to a 2,500-square-meter facility nearby. WFP also is developing a project to establish a disaster-management center to serve as a regional training facility on emergency preparedness, risk management, analysis of vulnerabilities and analysis of needs, early alert and information management systems and standard operating procedures in an emergency.
The United States and Spain are the two largest donors to the new humanitarian response center, providing 25 percent and 43 percent of the funding, respectively.
This is the kind of neighbor which the US should be to the rest of the countries in the hemisphere.