Uzbekistan: Drought appeal No. 27/01 Final report
Launched on: 21 August, 2001 for 4 months for CHF 1,006,653; operation extended by 5 months to 31 May, 2002
Beneficiaries: 20,000 beneficiaries with food support and up to 150,000 beneficiaries with essential drugs and preventive health care.
Appeal coverage: 75.6%
Summary: Due to the operation being generously covered by international donors and local government (which contributed with secondary transport and storage) and the fact that considerable savings were achieved in the operation (see the detailed explanation in the text), there is a remaining balance of CHF 221,526 which the Federation has proposed be used over the course of 2002 and 2003 to carry out the following activities: continue maintaining the early warning system (EWS), capacity building of drought affected branches, disaster response, and first aid training. Given the timely and generous funding, the savings realized, and the funds remaining, discussions will take place with donors for the Federation's proposed plan for the use of these funds.
Summary of the operation
The government of Uzbekistan formally appealed for international assistance during a second year of drought and severe water shortages, specifying the needs for supplementary food, and potable water to respond to the deteriorating health and sanitary conditions in the drought affected areas. The government of Uzbekistan built its drought mitigation policies and activities, installing hand pumps and laying water pipes, however the needs caused by the disaster exceeded the existing capacities. In response to the request for assistance from the Red Crescent Society of Uzbekistan (RCSU) the Federation deployed a Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) in July 2001. The FACT confirmed the severity of the situation reflected in the UN and other NGO reports and proposed an intervention, elaborated in co-operation with the RCSU to assist 20,000 of the most affected and vulnerable people in the selected two regions most hit by the drought (Chimbai and Kegeli) in the north-west of Karakalpakstan. The appeal received sufficient coverage, allowing the RCSU to run the response operation in full scale.
According to recent information from local officials, no major positive impact on irrigation north of Karakalpakstan is seen, despite the increased water levels in the Amu-Darya river. In 2002, it is estimated that the total space of arable land has been reduced by 60%. Productivity of the fields dropped from 2.5 to 0.72 MT per ha for cotton and 3.5 to 0.42 MT per ha for wheat.
The quality of water remains poor despite the efforts of the government of Uzbekistan, supported by the World Bank, UNDP and other international organisations. An early warning system (EWS) run in the selected five drought affected regions in the north will allow the RCSU to monitor the situation, assess possible needs for further humanitarian intervention, and identify the type of assistance to be delivered to the affected communities.
Red Cross and Red Crescent action - analysis of the operation
Following a request for assistance, the Federation FACT mission and the RCSU assessed the needs in four rayons in two oblasts of Navoi and Khorezm, as well as in two rayons of Karakalpakstan and devised a plan of assistance targeting 20,000 of the most affected and vulnerable people. The RCSU also committed to ensure that 150,000 people get access to essential drugs and receive health education and awareness.
A positive donor response to the Emergency Appeal, launched by the Federation on August 21 2001, allowed the RCSU to implement all the planned activities and to develop an early warning system (EWS), with a focus on the 5 most affected rayons to predict and monitor slow onset types of disasters. To maintain this database Red Cross volunteers were trained on data collection and analysis. The operation was generously covered by international donors and local government (which contributed with secondary transport and storage), and the Federation has proposed that the balance of funds (CHF 221,526) be used to continue maintaining EWS, capacity building of the targeted branches in the region, and the following activities:
- Enhancement of telecommunications and early warning system mechanisms to address development of drought-related issues (2002-2003);
- Human resources development, disaster response and first aid training for national society staff and volunteers (2002-2003);
- Production of first aid handbook (2003);
- Community-based health education activities on prevention of intestinal infections, acute respiratory diseases, anaemia and tuberculosis. Production of health education posters, booklets and other handout materials (2003);
- Branch capacity building in the most drought-affected provinces of Karakalpakstan (2002-2003);
- National Society capacity building at the national level (2002-2003).
A preliminary analysis of data showed that despite considerable improvements in terms of water supplies, the region remains exposed to a complex number of problems. For instance, despite the official figure of 51°10 of the population having access to a centralised water pipeline, community pool results show that in fact, only 10°10 of people enjoy this privilege, while over 81°10 use hand pumps and wells to obtain drinking water. This indicates occurring complications related to poor quality of water: increasing incidence of waterborne diseases, child mortality rates, etc.
In addition to lower in-country costs (personnel, transport, etc.), savings were achieved by a fluctuating exchange rate, the actual prices paid for the relief items with considerable saving achieved, and the fact that the operation plan included delegates from the Federation but the operation was carried out successfully by a regional field officer and supported by the regional delegates from Almaty.
The direct responsibility for project implementation relied on the project co-ordinators and field groups of Karakalpakstan Republican Council, working in co-operation with and being supported by Uzbek RC technical departments and under the supervision of the Uzbek RC leadership. The Federation deployed regional field officer to ensure technical and consultative support to the National Society during the operation. All activities in the field had been supervised and supported by the disaster management, health, and other technical departments of Almaty regional delegation.
Objective 1. To reduce the effect of the waterborne diseases, acute respiratory infections (ARI) and anaemia in the selected rayons to prevent further increase in vulnerability.
Medical kits, containing 8 items of basic medicines, donated in-kind by the Danish Red Cross, were delivered to 16 rural hospitals and clinics in Chimbai and 14 in Kegeili rayons of Karakalpakstan, enabling the prevention of the spread of acute respiratory infections and diarrhoea among the general population and reduction of anaemia among pregnant and lactating women. Each kit contains the following items: infusion liquid (dextrose 5% in water), doxycycline hyclate, oral rehydration salts (ORS), co-trimaxazole, ferrous sulphate, disinfecting soap. Chart below reflects disbursement of medicines during three months, allowing to ensure that delivered medicines will last till the end of 2002 depending on the incidence of above-mentioned diseases:
Disbursement of medicines is reflected through patient cards, ledgers and monthly reporting spreadsheets, and is monitored through regular visits by the Uzbek RC.
Objective 2. To launch a health promotion campaign and public awareness programme on waterborne diseases and other communicable infections to decrease the suffering from these illnesses.
Supported by the Federation and other international organisations (MSF, Counterpart International), Uzbek RC conducted ten health education workshops involving 100 volunteers, who have access to community groups (medical personnel, teachers, etc.) in the following topics:
- ARI and diarrhoea prophylactics;
- Anaemia prophylactics, breast feeding and nutrition.
Training of volunteers was followed-up by the community-based health education sessions, conducted by trained volunteers for 4,000 community members. Uzbek RC volunteers will continue further knowledge dissemination among the communities.
In support to health education activities the National Society designed and issued 3,000 posters and 39,000 booklets in anaemia, ARI and diarrhoea prevention in Karakalpak and Uzbek languages. Health education materials were distributed throughout Karakalpakstan, as well as Navoi, Bukhara and Khorezm provinces, covering entire Aral Sea area of Uzbekistan.
Objective 3. To provide 30 water filters to selected health posts and institutions.
Thirty stainless steel water filters with a capacity of 20 litres each, have been delivered to thirty beneficiary medical institution in the two rayons, and installed in the area accessible for patients, within the hospitals. Availability of safe drinking water is monitored by the Uzbek RC and the Federation representatives on regular basis.
Objective 1. To support the nutritional status of the most vulnerable groups through distribution of supplementary family rations to 20,000 selected beneficiaries in Chimbai and Kegeili rayons of Karakalpakstan.
A total of 380 MT of food commodities (wheat flour, rice and edible oil) was donated by the American RC. To complement supplementary food rations, the Uzbek RC procured 42 MT of pulses and 21 MT of iodised salt. The content of a 2 month family food parcel, included 18.3 kg of wheat flour, 10.8 kg of rice, 8 1 of edible oil, 4 kg of pulses and 2 kg of iodised salt. Every beneficiary family received four supplementary family rations in two distributions over the operation period. The table below reflects the number of beneficiary families benefited from two distribution cycles:
Community members considering themselves matching the beneficiary selection criteria, but not included into the initial lists, could appeal to the humanitarian commission for revision of their status during both distributions. The humanitarian commission consisted of the Uzbek RC, heads of the village councils (makhallyas) and local administration (hakimyat) representatives. All people eligible for assistance were included into the beneficiary lists for the second distribution and received double rations. Therefore, total number of beneficiary families reached 4,593, equalling more than 32,800 individuals.
Beneficiary lists, compiled by the heads of the village councils and local administration, were verified, by the Uzbek RC and the Federation teams, during pre- and post-distribution monitoring, which covered 2% and 5% of total beneficiary numbers accordingly. Monitoring groups also monitored the distribution sites and institutions (medicines), made home visits and conducted interviews with the beneficiaries, to ensure fair and timely delivery of the humanitarian assistance and better utilisation/consumption of the food ration.
The remaining food (19.5 MT) was handed over to the American RC in Nukus, in accordance with the Pledge Management Note signed with the American RC, while the remaining salt and pulses (6 MT) were distributed among health institutions.
National Society Capacity Building
The URCS staff and volunteers involved in programme implementation attended two training workshops in relief distributions, commodity management and logistics, organised by the Uzbek RC and the Federation. In addition, specific training in needs assessment was organised for volunteers working with EWS.
Programme implementation allowed the URCS to build both expertise and technical capacity. Two branches directly involved in the relief distribution, received furniture, stationary, telephone line support and basic office equipment increasing their overall operational capacity. One complete set of computer was handed over by the Federation to the URCS branch in Karakalpakstan with all distribution data.
The URCS, with technical assistance from the Federation, produced three operation updates for information sharing on drought operation progress. By the end of the operation the National Society conducted SWOT analysis, facilitated by the Federation regional disaster management staff to identify lessons learnt, necessary for the future work.
Co-operation with local authorities, other NGO, mass media and general public contributed greatly to raising the profile and the image of the Uzbek RC. Operation implementation was widely covered both by the national and international (BBC, Reuters) media on the regular basis.
Programme activities have been co-ordinated between the URCS, the Federation, NGOs and the donors, including the American Red Cross Aral Sea project staff, giving a valuable input both into the technical and legal support of the operation.
The URCS activities were strongly supported by the Federation's technical departments (disaster management, health, logistics, administration, finance, information). Good co-operation with other a gencies (MSF, Counterpart International) and governmental entities (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education) contributed to the success of the operation.
For further details please contact: Michaela Told, Phone: 4l 22 730 44 25; Fax: 4l 22 733 03 95; email: email@example.com
All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.
For support to or for further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.
This operation sought to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or long-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation's website.
Division of External Relations