1. Introduction

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intro  rehabilitacion reconstruccionThe emergency period, which focuses on immediate relief action oriented to saving lives and meeting the most urgent needs of the population affected by the disaster, is followed by the post-disaster recovery phase. The recovery phase encompasses both rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The early recovery stage (or rehabilitation) is a transition period, an imprecise period of time between emergency response and reconstruction. Depending on the approach taken and the origin of the funding used, this can be an extension of humanitarian activities or a first step toward post-disaster development.

Rehabilitation and reconstruction involve disaster management activities, where the central objective is to normalize the life of the affected communities and to get the social sectors (health, education, housing) and production sectors (industry, communications, transportation, etc.) functioning.

The recovery phase may last years, or even decades, depending on the severity of the damage, its complexity, and the financial resources available.

In the health sector, rehabilitation and reconstruction have different timeframes and needs, which are shaped by assessed damage and losses and by the consequent needs. The first phase—rehabilitation—aims to reestablish short-term operation of those essential services and facilities that have not suffered major damage, so as to continue providing necessary services to the population. Reconstruction involves more complex projects based on a more in-depth analysis of the damage and needs resulting from the disaster. These projects should be designed to strengthen the sector for future contingencies and enhance mitigation and preparedness actions in the context of development planning.

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