Americas zone annual report 2012 (MAA42003)

Overview:

During 2012 the Americas Zone of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has made significant progress towards its projected goals, as reflected in the celebration of the XIX Inter-American Conference (IAC) which took place in March under the theme “Reducing the gaps”. The IAC was a major success thanks to the participation of 35 National Societies from the Americas and other Red Cross Red Crescent partners. The conference concluded with the adoption of the Montrouis Commitment and the Inter-American Framework for Action 2012-2016. The latter focuses on urban violence, migration, the role of state actors (in particular the civil defence and the military), non-communicable diseases (NCD), climate change, urban risk, social media, and migration, among other areas; these themes will guide the work of the National Societies of the Red Cross in the Americas over the next four years.

While this report shows in detail the progress made, notable strides have been made in in terms of all of the business lines. In the area of humanitarian standards, the secretariat has promoted a reference document on disaster law (DL) in Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico and Peru. Additionally, eight National Societies registered for AIDS 2012 and the General Assembly HIV side-meeting and at least ten National Society abstracts have been presented. With the aim of increasing the Red Cross services for vulnerable people, the IFRC publication No Time for Doubt--an advocacy piece on urban risk--and other materials on the issue were launched at the pre-hurricane meeting held in May in Barbados. National disaster response plans were reviewed in light of the trends during the Hurricane season preparedness meetings that were held in the Caribbean and Central America.

As part of the goal to strengthen contributions to development, the Haiti Learning Conference held in April served as a space to share information and to document lessons learned in shelter, water and sanitation, relief and other sectors. Actions were taken to increase influence and support for the Red Cross work in the region.

As part of the Secretariat’s efforts to promote joint work and accountability, green response and urban risk initiatives between the IFRC and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) have gained momentum and will be useful for more extensive discussions with the governments and National Societies. In addition, the National Societies in the Americas maintain active roles on their respective national platforms for disaster risk reduction (DRR). This is also the case for the Secretariat which takes part in regional DRR platforms where United Nations agencies have shown interest to continue collaborative actions. The IFRC Haiti country representation has intensified the dialogue with government authorities about the camps and the need for a status agreement as part of the largest emergency operation in the Americas. With regard to accountability, the Federation-wide reporting system for the Haiti earthquake operation continues to provide a model for progress in effective and efficient monitoring, evaluation and reporting.