The second half of 2009 has been a very busy but productive period as the Asia Pacific zone office has responded to multiple disasters simultaneously, while carrying forward its aim to introduce several new initiatives designed to increase the impact of its work with Asia Pacific national societies. Many national societies across the zone have maintained a high level of programming as they continue to carry out comprehensive post-disaster recovery activities while others have started reviewing their development activities in line with the International Federation's newly adopted Strategy 2020.
Notable achievements in the this reporting period have included:
- The direction and coordination of four emergency appeals in response to disasters that struck Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa and Indonesia within a ten-day period.
- The consolidation of the reorganized Asia Pacific disaster management unit which was able to successfully carry out its lead role in the international coordination of these disasters.
- Five national societies were supported to implement pandemic preparedness projects (Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Viet Nam and India), and seven mini-projects were approved (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Mongolia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).
- Support was provided to several national societies to revise their strategic plans and review their legal base (including Bangladesh, Indonesia, New Zealand, Philippines and Sri Lanka).
- Humanitarian diplomacy initiatives have included taking forward the emerging partnership with the Asian Development Bank through starting country level consultations in 7 countries; carrying out a review and dialogue with 12 national societies on their understanding and activities in humanitarian diplomacy; preparatory work for a potential partnership with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In Samoa, Red Cross volunteers and community members gather after the tsunami to map risks from disasters and health emergencies to help prepare for future events. Rob Few/International Federation
- Extensive work profiling the activities of national societies and the International Federation in responding to disasters and in advance of the fifth year anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
- As of the end of November, the total income for annual plans/appeals was CHF 45.2 million, representing a 106 per cent coverage to date.
- The total income for all current/ongoing emergency appeals is CHF 474.8 million (and CHF 1.187 million including the tsunami), which represents a 90 per cent coverage to date.
- To support these field activities, a total of 634 standard and pledge-based narrative and financial reports have been quality controlled and published by the zone office up to end November, with none overdue.
Financial situation: The total 2009 budget for the zone office plan has been revised from CHF 998,889 (USD 920,321 or EUR 655,129) to CHF 1,451,689 (USD 1,421,357 or EUR 960,588). Coverage is 111 per cent while expenditure from January to October 2009 was 54.1 per cent of the total 2009 budget (see attached financial report). The financial report from January to December 2009 will be issued with the 2009 annual report by April 2010.
No. of people we help: The Asia Pacific zone office provides support to the 37 national societies, four International 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, British Red Cross/British government (DFID), Red Cross Society of China, Finnish Red Cross/Finnish government, Japanese Red Cross, New Zealand Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross/Norwegian government, Spanish Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross/Swedish government.