Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Appeal 2009-2010 (MAAAF001) - Annual Report

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Programme outcome:

• Reduced the number of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

• To improve the health status of vulnerable people in selected areas of high health vulnerability, to reduce the number of deaths, illness and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

• Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

• To strengthen the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) for the best practice of the principles and values and to advocate for gender and marginalized groups.

Programme(s) summary:

The major activities during the reporting period include the following:

Disaster management: Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) were very busy in provision and distribution of humanitarian assistance to the affected population by persistent natural disasters. In April an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale occurred in Samangan province while flash floods in May 2010 affected 101 districts in 20 provinces. In order to strengthen the disaster management (DM) capacity of the national society, a six-day national disaster response team (NDRT) course was conducted followed by an earthquake simulation exercise at the headquarters. ARCS was supported in developing the DM standard operation procedures (SOP) and the IFRC guidelines for assessment in emergencies as well as community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) training package was translated. ARCS has been supported in the planning, budgeting and conducting of the DIPECHO project-supported school children drawing competition on disaster risk reduction (DRR) in three regions (Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad). Four ARCS and IFRC DM staff participated in the regional advocacy training on DRR in Sri Lanka.

Relief assistance of food and non-food items were provided to a number of 5,040 families affected by different frequent disasters in the eastern, western, central and northern regions of Afghanistan. Assistance of food and non-food items under the Italian government contribution was distributed to the man-made and natural disasters affected families in Badghis, Ghor and Herat provinces.

In addition, various project proposals for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)/ Canadian Red Cross, Italian government/Italian Red Cross and Japanese Red Cross were developed and the Danish government supplementary contribution was confirmed.

Health and care: 2010 was a productive year for the national society health programme as they achieved to be successful in a number of areas.

After almost three years of the ARCS comprehensive community-based health intervention (CCBHI) (water and sanitation) project has being implemented in three districts of Balkh province. The national society, with the support of IFRC, was able to conduct a mid-term evaluation which was led by a British Red Cross health advisor. Similarly, ARCS commenced the roll out of the new community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) in action approach by conducting a seven-day CBHFA in action master facilitator workshop and training 275 previously trained volunteers.

The emergency mobile units (EMUs) were actively involved in response activities following several disasters that occurred throughout Afghanistan which included response to the earthquake in Dar-e-Sof district of Samangan province, flood operations in Jawzjan and Baghlan provinces and response to a diarrhoea disease outbreak in Nangarhar province. In the west, the EMU teams took part in an H1N1 vaccination campaign coordinated by the ministry of public health (MoPH).

The signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was done with MoPH regarding the involvement of ARCS volunteers in the elimination of polio in the southern region of the country (Kandahar) where security is very tense and MoPH cannot reach the population.

Organizational development: The third harmonized operational plan has been developed following result-based approach which this year was further improved by the adoption of a participatory approach involving ARCS regional offices and branches. For better organizing the regional Movement coordination meeting, a term of reference (ToR) is developed and eight Movement coordination meetings were conducted in different regions to better engage the field in the harmonization process and provide a greater degree of transparency and collaboration in planning.

The South Asia regional office finance development delegate visited Afghanistan three times to contribute to the finance development project. In the last 10 to 15 years, ARCS did not have its opening and closing balances and with the technical support of an external audit company, the financial statements of the last five years (2005-2009) have been completed and opening and closing balances have been developed. The audit of book accounts is completed for five years, January 2005 to March 2010 and the report is submitted. QuickBook software has been installed, necessary training for the finance staff has been provided at the headquarters and the newly developed finance management system is now functioning following endorsement and approval by the ARCS governing board.

A fundraising unit under the ARCS organizational development (OD) department umbrella has been established and equipped with all the necessary office equipment and a three-day fundraising workshop has been conducted for the ARCS fundraising unit and 10 provincial branches. Capacity assessment has been carried out in 16 branches of ARCS and necessary support is provided to the branches. The ARCS monitoring and evaluation (former audit and inspection) department staff have been trained in planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (PMER). Two training sessions on result-based management (new project planning process (PPP)) were conducted for the ARCS senior staff and a planning workshop is conducted for the ARCS central zone (12 branches) facilitated by the IFRC organizational development department.

The recruitment policy is developed and approved by the management. A total of 150 staff were trained in English, computer, management, planning, reporting and communication skills at both ARCS headquarters and branch levels and also two management courses were conducted for the senior staff. English and computer training courses started to train the ARCS regional offices staff. The ARCS OD head and two other staff from the international relations department participated in the intensified capacity building workshop on October in Washington DC, USA. The membership programme carried out in all branches of the national society has increased the recruitment of new members in order to prepare them for the establishment of branch-based governance bodies. A three-day membership training workshop is conducted for 34 branches of ARCS to speed up the membership programme, membership regulation and guideline is developed and distributed. A total of 1,210 members, including 280 women, are recruited in 34 branches and three local assemblies are established. Two meetings with the membership team leaders have taken place in Jalalabad and Kabul regions to provide necessary support to the membership programme to enable the establishment of branch and general assemblies.

Humanitarian values: Humanitarian values are important as being incorporated into all ARCS operational programmes, it helps ARCS to replace the culture of tolerance among staff and volunteers whilst rendering services and enhance the credibility and mutual understanding of between the beneficiaries, community and the national society. Throughout the free discussion amongst youth volunteers, the spirit or co-existence, respect for human dignity and diversity is promoted. It does help to change behavior into positive; this contributes to decrease the discrimination and consequently the violence.

Good attitude and behavior of ARCS staff and volunteers during the operations demonstrate a sound practice of the Movement principles, which builds more trust of ARCS in the community and created an opportunity to ARCS to have accessibility to very remote areas where-ever their intervention, is required for the most vulnerable.

Financial situation: The total 2010 budget was CHF 6,092,840. Coverage is 108 per cent while expenditure from January to December 2010 is 92 per cent of the total 2010 budget.

Our partners: In addition to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, partners include key government ministries, United Nations agencies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are recognized under the government’s national disaster management plan.

On behalf of the Afghan Red Crescent Society, IFRC we would like to thank all partners for their support.