Algeria Earthquake Appeal No. 14/03 Operations Update No. 5


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Appeal No. 14/03
Operations Update no. 05
Period covered 01 January to 31 August 2004

Appeal launched on 22 May 2003 for CHF 1,958,000 (USD 1,512,000 or EUR 1,293,000 ) for 3 months for 10,000-20,000 beneficiaries.

Appeal revised 27 June 2003 to CHF 4,798 ,000 for 40,000 beneficiaries, including an extension of the operation until May 2004.

This update notifies partners that the appeal programme will beextended until May 2005 . A new operational budget is attached to the report - taking account of the excellent donor response to the appeal - indicating how the additional funding will be utilised. No further support is sought.

Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 200,000 (has been reimbursed to the DREF)

In Brief

Appeal coverage: 140.1%; See the Contributions List on the Federation's website for details

Outstanding needs: in view of the donor response to date, the appeal is fully covered and there are no additional funding requirements. Needs will be covered from the current funding; a revised operational budget is being prepared to respond the changing needs in the ongoing operation.

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: 2004 North Africa Region Annual Appeal (01.88/2004 )

Operational Summary: On 21 May 2003, the most powerful earthquake to have affected North Africa since 1980 struck northern Algeria. The disaster killed more than 2,200 people, injured more than 10,000 and made at least 180,000 homeless. Within a few hours of the earthquake, the Algerian Red Crescent Society (ARCS) was in action and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the Federation) disaster management systems were activated hand in hand with the ARCS and sister societies around the world.

Government relocation of families living tents into temporary pre-fabricated houses has continued over the reported period. The government has announced that the period for relocation from temporary to permanent housing has been extended from the initial 18 months to 24 months, i.e. by end of 2005 all families should be have their permanent housing.

This extension has prompted the Algerian Red Crescent to adjust their initial plan of action to a longer term action plan with the inclusion of community based education centres, summer camps for children of affected families and psychological support to ARC staff and volunteers. At the same time, the national society foc used its capacity building programme on disaster preparedness and management in different wilayas around the country. The ARC, in cooperation with and through assistance provided by a Federation delegate assigned to the operation, retains its position as primary operational humanitarian agency in conjunction with several partner national societies.

The assistance provided through the emergency appeal is still ongoing. However, the scheduled end of the operation (May 2004) has proved unrealistic because of the capacity building phase that is continuing. Due to several delays in the implementation of projects, partners are requested to support an extension of the appeal until May 2005. The capacity building phase in the appeal would continue until end 2005. A new plan of action for the remaining balance of the budget (CHF 2,444,000, excl. of PSR) is included in this update.

Operational developments

The president of the national society Professor Abdelkader Boukhroufa died after a long illness on 23r d March 2004. The vice president, Dr. Mohamed Salah Badouna, assumed the role of interim president until an extraordinary general assembly appointed him on 5th April 2004. A normal general assembly will be held in Algiers later this year.

On 19th January an explosion blew up part of an industrial complex in Skikda (200 km east of Algiers), killing several people. The emergency assistance of the ARCS was prompt. In April a psychological debriefing workshop has been organised for all volunteers and staff who assisted in the operation. This debriefing was led by the three psychologists affiliated to the national society and was attended by 40 volunteers and plant staff. The debriefing was financed by the Federation and was part of the psychological assistance to the staff and volunteers of the national society.

In early 2004, or nine months after the start-up of the earthquake operation, an initial evaluation on the emergency operation was commissioned, between 11 and 19 February 2004 in Algiers. It was divided into three main parts:

- An "emotional / psychological" evaluation with the staff and volunteers of the ARCS who had been involved in the operation as a "debriefing" or post-mortem approach to capture their feelings, and stress during and after the operation and lessons learnt. This was carried out between ARCS and French Red Cross (FRCS).

- A round table discussion on cooperation during the earthquake operation between ARCS and its main operational partners such as, Protection Civile, Ministère de l'Interieur, Ministère de la Santé de la Population et de la Réforme Hospitalière, Ministère de la Solidarité Nationale et de l'Emploi, Scouts Musulmans Algerians, Red Cross/Red Crescent representatives, including ICRC.

- The drafting of a framework for an ARCS strategic disaster plan, as a component of a larger disaster preparedness plan of the national society, based on lessons learnt from the operation.

A more in-depth evaluation of the Algeria earthquake operation is scheduled by the end of 2004. This evaluation will be carried out by an external consultant. The evaluation should be a good learning opportunity for all stakeholders. The review should look at the impact of the ARCS/Federation/national societies ' relief intervention on beneficiaries.

The initial evaluation is available from the regional officer in Geneva (see contact details at end).

On 8th April national legislation and presidential elections were held in Algeria, which were won by the incumbent president. Due to this election, the scheduled distr ibutions of relief items were cancelled well before and after the electioneering period as to avoid any political influence on the operation. The Algerian Red Crescent was on stand-by before, during this period.

Heavy rain caused deadly flooding in the south of the country in mid April in the region of Adrar . A total of 600 families were affected when their mud-houses and belongings have been partly or totally washed away. In the first instance, the ARC sent food from the Béchar branch. More assistance came from the stocks in Algiers when two convoys left to the affected area. The Federation assisted in coordination with partners to donate non-food items from the earthquake operation. The Federation office in Algiers allocated a total of CHF 75,000 to purchase food items for the families. A detailed list of distributed items per donor is attached to this report.

The national Society hosted the 6th Pan African conference in Algiers from 8th to 13 th September 2004. The conference was attended by participants from all 52 African national societies and government representatives.

During the reporting period, several missions were undertaken by the secretariat's head of Africa department, the Federation PanAf co-ordinator and the head of the North Africa to prepare for the conference. The preparation stretched national society resources. The conference welcomed the President of the Republic, Mr. Bouteflika, who presided over the closing session.

Earthquake operation

The national Society, through the Federation appeal, continued to purchase relief items in support of affected families. The procurement of 1,500 gas heaters and bottles took place in the first part of the year. While there was a delay in distribution all bottles were distributed in the reporting period. Furthermore, the fleet of the Algerian Red Crescent has been expanded with the purchase of two distribution trucks, three town cars and five 4x4 vehicles , locally purchased for the committee of Boumerdes. The vehicles will be used for the emergency response teams in the wilayas while the trucks will assist in distributions in Boumerdes and will be available for other emergency operations in the country.

In total six mobile kitchens and 40 thermo ports have been purchased with the OPEC grant. Each mobile kitchen had a price tag of EUR 54,600 /CHF 84,029.4 while the price per thermo port was EUR 508.2 /CHF 782.12.

The mobile kitchens were bought via the logistics department from the company K=C4RCHER GmbH & Co in Germany. Three of the mobile kitchens were used during the Ramadan period in Algeria, which gave the ARCS the opportunity to use them in their traditional programme providing a daily Ramadan meal to the most vulnerable. While the kitchens will remain on disaster preparedness stocks of the ARCS, it is foreseen that the m obile kitchen will be used this year again during Ramadan. In future, it will also be utilised in traditional annual summer camps and in disasters that would require quick and mass delivery of food to affected people.

In terms of financial processes, the national society will go from a system of reimbursement to one of working advance. This important step is part of the capacity building of the national society and will allow the Algerian Red Crescent to take more ownership and responsibility of the relief programme.

Relief Distribution for January-June 2004 in the earthquake-affected wilayate of Boumerdes and Algiers

Distribution site
Kitchen Sets
Kitchen Sets
Ouled Moussa
Kitchen Sets
Site 188 Chalets Corso
Kitchen Sets
Site 232 Chalets
Kitchen Sets
Site Hlaymia 1
Baby Kits
Baby Kits
Hygiene Kits
site 188 Chalets Corso
Site 232
Site Hlaymia 1
Heaters-valves and bottles
Chalet Medghri (Rouïba)
Heaters-valves and bottles
Hlaymia 1
Heaters-valves and bottles
Hlaymia 2
Heaters-valves and bottles
Heaters-valves and bottles
Koudia Laraisse
Heaters-valves and bottles
Heaters-valves and bottles
Heaters-valves and bottles
Heaters-valves and bottles
Boudouaou el Bahri

For further information please contact:

Tunis Office - Ms. A . Leclerc - 00 216 71 86 24 85

Algeria office - Mr. P. Ophoff - 00 213 61 57 18 58

Regional Department - Mr. M. Fisher - 00 41 79 217.33.83.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

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