Programme purpose: As outlined in the 2009-2010 plan, the aim of the International Federation South Asia regional office is to increase the capacity of the South Asian national societies to provide services that improve the lives of vulnerable people.
During 2009, the key areas of support provided by the International Federation to national societies in South Asia were as follows:
- The regional disaster management programme during the first half of 2009 saw the finalizing of some of the disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives started in 2008 with the DIPECHO funded programme, which includes the development of a standardized community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) training curriculum, facilitators' guide, participants workbook and the standard criteria for first aid kits in South Asia. The regional disaster response team (RDRT) trainings directly benefited eight South Asian countries through (i) strengthening their RDRT systems to better assist in disaster response and (ii) transferring skills from their staff who are RDRT trained to the national societies' own disaster response mechanisms.
- The regional health and care programme focused on assisting national societies in their endeavour to reduce vulnerability due to poor health by enhancing their capacity to respond to HIV and other public health issues in emergencies and in normal situations, through partnership, advocacy and resource development initiatives. Furthermore, the focus was on the scaling up of community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) activities and rolling out the global CBHFA in action across the region.
- In 2009, country specific tailor made support under organizational development was provided mainly (i) for the harmonization plan in Afghanistan, (ii) to strengthen the organizational development capacity in Bangladesh (iii) to support the 'operational alliance on organizational development light' in Nepal, (iv) branch development in India (v) formation process of the national society in Maldives and (vi) strengthening fundraising for national societies in South Asia. Another purpose under organizational development was that communications and advocacy for the most vulnerable at national society and regional level becomes more effective. The regional communications team has a cross sectional purpose at the South Asia regional office and aims to support the different programme initiatives to achieve the four International Federation goals.
Financial situation: The total 2009 budget was CHF 2,241,787 (USD 2,244,031 or EUR 1,487,000) based on the programmes' workplan and funding situation. Coverage is 138 per cent while expenditure from January to December 2009 is 77 per cent of the total 2009 budget.
No. of people we help: The South Asia regional office supports the seven national societies and seven country offices of the International Federation in South Asia. The South Asia regional office is also actively working with the authorities in Bhutan providing disaster management and risk reduction training for their leadership. The region includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, out of which the national societies exist in all countries except Bhutan.
Our partners: The main partners supporting the regional programmes during 2009 were the American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross, Belgian Red Cross, British Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Greek Red Cross, Hong Kong Red Cross, Iran Red Crescent, Italian Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Kuwait Red Crescent, Netherlands Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Qatar Red Crescent, Spanish Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross, UAE Red Crescent along with the European Commission/ECHO, British Department for International Development (DFID) and World Bank (GFDRR).
Technical partnerships/relations were also maintained with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) disaster management centre, United Nations (UN) International Strategy for Disaster Response, World Bank (through the ProVention consortium), other UN organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations under the regional disaster management programme; and with the World Health Organization, networks of people living with HIV, government ministries and civil society organizations under the regional health and care programmes.
The South Asia regional office also maintained strong cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and links with the World Food Programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Agency for International Development (USAID). Furthermore, close cooperation was continued with international media agencies like Reuters, British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) and Cable News Network (CNN) for efficient information flow, especially during disasters.
The International Federation, on behalf of the national societies in the South Asia region, would like to thank the above mentioned partners for their generous support.