Spain to Open Emergency-Aid Hub in Panama

November 16, 2007

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Spanish government announced Nov. 9 that will open a fixed base in Panama to distribute emergency aid in Central America and plans to invest 72 million euros ($105.5 million) in helping that region cope with domestic violence and juvenile delinquency.

Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, accompanied by Spain’s King Juan Carlos, unveiled these two initiatives at a  working breakfast with the CentralAmerican leaders gathered in Santiago for the Latin America-Iberia Summit.

The proposal was announced two days before King Juan Carlos told Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to “shut up,” and then walked out on Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s speech criticizing Spanish  electrical company Unión Fenosa (see separatestories).

The purpose of establishing an emergency-aid hub at Panama City’s TocumenAirport is to increase the speed with which Spain can respond to natural disasters that occur in Latin America in general and Central America in particular, the Spanish delegation at the summit said.

The project, a hangar with a capacity for 60 tons of supplies, will allow Spain to send up to six-planes-worth of humanitarian aid.

This storage space will allow Spanish authorities to purify 180,000 liters of water per day and supply some 12,000 people daily or provide basic medical supplies needed to attend to 60,000 patients over a three-month period.

Panama was chosen because of its logistical capacity, but also to establish a “regional line of humanitarian aid and disaster response” coordinated by U.N. agencies, the Red Cross and other organizations.

For its part, Spain’s Central American security program will cover a period of five years and will aim to reduce the rate of violent crime, minimize the impact on victims and integrate marginalized and vulnerable groups into society, a focus that emphasizes the fight against poverty over heavy-handed law enforcement.

The program’s three principal areas of intervention will be the fight against domestic violence; initiatives against youth violence, with a special focus on urban gangs; and the struggle against impunity for violent crime, with initiatives to professionalize the judicial and police sectors.

The program also calls for reinforcing bilateral programs that Spain already has launched with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama, as well as for identifying new ways to fight against youth violence, especially in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

 

You may be interested

Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets
Central America
813 views
Central America
813 views

Honduran opposition protesters take to the streets

Noe Leiva / AFP - December 15, 2017

Supporters of the leftist opposition in Honduras blocked streets in various cities around that country on Friday, despite political repression,…

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
1888 views
Please Send Coffee!
1888 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
1429 views
Weather
1429 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…