South Asia: Appeal No. MAA52001 Programme Update No. 2

This report covers the period 01 July to 31 December 2008.

In brief

Programme purpose: As outlined in the 2008-09 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.

Programme(s) summary: In the second half of 2008, one of the key areas of support provided by the International Federation to national societies was in responding to the monsoon flooding in Pakistan, India and Nepal and the earthquake in Baluchistan (Pakistan). Besides this, significant progress was made in community-based disaster risk reduction and regional disaster response team components of the disaster management programme and a regional disaster management/disaster risk reduction (DRR) review was started.

Under the health and care programme, the South Asia launch of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Global Alliance on HIV was held on 1 December 2008 to coincide with World AIDS Day. Further, regional health capacity building workshops were organized in the areas of community-based first aid and public health in emergencies and a regional health managers meeting was held in October.

Country specific tailor made support continued under the organizational development programme and a regional organizational development meeting was held in November. The regional initiative on "Building Safer Communities" in South Asia was also promoted through an integrated programming approach. The communications component of the programme provided support in bringing out the first of a series of regional case studies on HIV and AIDS. The finance development component continued to review and support this area of work in the national societies and the planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting component remained involved in finalizing the country plans and logical frameworks for 2009-10. The consolidation process between the South Asia regional office and the India Office was also completed during this period.

Financial situation: The total (2008) budget is CHF 3,826,178 (approximately USD 3,273,036 or EUR 2,462,570), of which 71 per cent was covered. Expenditure overall was 44 per cent of the budget. Expenditure was low due to the low funding for regional programme activities, together with delayed funding confirmation.

No. of people we help: The South Asia regional office supports the six national societies and seven country offices of the International Federation in South Asia. This year, the South Asia regional office were actively working with the authorities in Bhutan in providing disaster management and risk reduction training for their leadership. The region includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, out of which the national societies exist in all except Bhutan and the Maldives, where the process of establishing a national society is underway. Please refer to the country reports for the beneficiary numbers for these countries.

Our partners: The main partners supporting the regional programmes during the reporting period were the American, British, Danish, Finnish, Japanese and Swedish Red Cross Societies, 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 SAARC disaster management centre, 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 and links with the World Food Programme, UNDP and USAID. Further, close cooperation was continued with international media agencies like Reuters, BBC and CNN, for efficient information flow, especially during disasters.