In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
This programme update focuses on the work of the team in the Asia Pacific zone office to provide leadership and guidance to the International Federation efforts to increase the impact of Asia Pacific national societies' humanitarian activities. National societies throughout the region, with the support of partner national societies and other organizations, have continued to respond to multiple disasters, as well as to scale up their efforts to carry out programmes in line with the commitments in the International Federation's Global Agenda.
Notable achievements in the this reporting period have included:
- Continued support for Myanmar Cyclone Nargis disaster and China Sichuan Earthquake disaster operations, with the launching of three-year emergency and recovery revised appeals for both operations, and unprecedented visibility for the six-month commemorations of both disasters.
- Emergency appeals launched and support provided for Nepal Floods, Vietnam Floods and Pakistan Baluchistan Earthquake operations.
- Asia Pacific zone continued to be a key player in the development of the Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction, at global, regional and country levels.
- New focal points for public health in emergencies, and water and sanitation based in the zone's disaster management unit.
- The hosting of a regional International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) workshop, improving understanding of the legal framework for disasters and sharing the draft legislative advocacy manual.
- Successful public communications for the launch of two Global Alliances on HIV in the Pacific and South Asia.
- An avian and human influenza coordinator was appointed to work in the Asia Pacific Zone office, and support was provided to national societies in preparation of programmes as part of the Federation's Global Human Pandemic Preparedness (H2P) Programme.
- A notable increase in the use of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement guidelines, policies and tools in national societies' efforts in capacity building and organizational development.
- The provision of security advice relating to the terror attacks in Mumbai, political unrest in
Thailand and the deteriorating conflict situation faced in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
- The 4-year global report on ongoing tsunami recovery programmes in Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Somalia and Seychelles - focusing on the huge achievement in construction of homes and community infrastructure.
- An improvement in financial control, despite the annual turnover of CHF 60 million for annual programming and a total of over CHF 500 million for active emergency appeals (excluding tsunami).
Financial situation: The total 2008 budget has been revised to CHF 782,717 (USD 730,510 or EUR 520,663), of which 92 per cent is covered. It should be noted that most of the staffing and running costs of the zone office are covered by core secretariat funding.
See also Asia Pacific 0809 Appeal, and the regional and country programme updates covering the period July-December 2008.
Number of people we help: The Asia Pacific zone office provides support to the 37 national societies, four Federation secretariat regional offices and 15 country offices in the Asia Pacific region, to help strengthen their capacity to deliver more extensive and effective humanitarian services to vulnerable groups.
Our partners: Within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, there is close cooperation with many partner national societies and with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supporting national societies throughout the Asia Pacific region. In addition, there are partnerships with many external organizations at all levels (community, national and regional levels), community-based, national and international organizations, UN, and other developmental agencies.
The zone office would like to especially thank the following partner national societies which have contributed this year in cash or kind to the Asia Pacific zone appeal: Australian Red Cross/Australian government, Finnish Red Cross/Finnish government, Japanese Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross/Swedish government.