Georgia MAAGE002 Annual Report 2012

Overview

The International Federation (IFRC) supported programme activities of the Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS) that are aligned to the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Movement and contributes to the goals of strategy 2020 (Strategic Goals: 2 and 3) to save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises; enable healthy and safe living; and promote social inclusion and a culture of non-violence and peace. The capacity-building efforts are in line with Enabling Action One to build strong National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

During the reporting period, the Georgia Red Cross Society’s (GRCS) organisational development was mainly focused on strengthening the GRCS capacity and internal development, in particular, the GRCS strategic development plan (2012-2016) (hereinafter “strategic plan”) has been finalised in line with the IFRC Strategy 2020. With support of Norwegian Red Cross contribution (CHF12,093), GRCS processed dissemination of the strategic plan (adopted by the General Assembly in April 2012) throughout the branch network. Besides, the new document has been introduced to key stakeholders (local public authorities among them) to scale up mobilisation of public and corporate resources for its implementation. The local public authorities and the key stakeholders are committed to cooperation with the GRCS branches on community-based volunteer initiatives and services. GRCS increased its participation in international dialogue and cooperation, as well as new partnerships established at national and international levels.

For further development and growth of the National Society, the GRCS conducted HQ and Branch Forum (21-23 December 2012) as a follow up the Organizational Capacity Assessment and Certification (OCAC) process, namely the results of self-assessment exercise (OCAC phase-1) carried out by the National Society (August 22-24, 2011). At the end of the Forum, GRCS HQ and branch leadership, staff and volunteers raised awareness about positive outcomes of the GRCS self-development plan, elaborated according to the recommendations received from the IFRC facilitators. As a final point, GRCS emphasized the willingness and readiness to move to the second phase of OCAC process in 2013.

Despite recent positive reforms in the field of Health and Social Care in the country the situation with HIV and AIDS, TB, especially MDR-TB, and other communicable disease is still challenging, characterized by a rise of cases annually along with the fact that big part of the population still finds it difficult to access health and social services. Also low awareness about diseases and healthy lifestyle contributes to worsening of the population health status. In response to the situation in the country, the Georgia Red Cross Society defines fighting against spread of the HIV/AIDS, promotion of Harm Reduction and TB control, combating stigma and discrimination as strategic priorities of the National Society related to the health and care programme area. In this regard, during the reporting period the GRCS Health and Care program included five components: HIV and AIDS prevention and Harm Reduction, MDR-TB control, Community Based Health and First Aid, Promotion of non- remunerated voluntary blood donation and Social Support for Vulnerable Older People. The latter was supported by the International Federation (DFID funding), while the rest of the Components were supported bilaterally by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and TAG/MATAV.

At the end of December 2011, the financial support from the IFRC (funding provided by the Eli Lily Foundation) for the implementation of the Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis control project came to an end. Despite this fact the GRCS project team has continued the work on a voluntary basis until November 2012, when IFRC renewed the funding for this project.

During the reporting period, the promotion of GRCS activities has been supported by local public authorities and mass media throughout the country. Political will and interest of key stakeholders for joint action to enhance social inclusion and empowerment of civil society for the benefit of vulnerable groups have been in place. As a consequence, the local public authorities and the key community stakeholders are committed to cooperation with the GRCS branches on community-based interventions.