The North Africa region, made up of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, is economically diverse with rich, resource abundant economies like Algeria and Libya and countries that are resource scarce relative to their population size such as Egypt and Morocco. The five North African middle income countries are generally on track in achieving the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target by 2015, but still face significant rural and urban disparities in health outcomes and gaps in health coverage.
Like other regions, North Africa is facing two main challenges. The financial and economic crisis is increasing vulnerability and poverty both at a macro and a household level, which represents both a development and a humanitarian defy for vulnerable communities and marginalized groups. The second challenge is climate change. Since the past years, the North African Red Crescent Societies have responded significantly to more weather related disasters. Many of these were of a relatively small scale (heat wave, cold wave, flash floods, tornadoes, coastal sea rise) but they do appear to be part of a changing climate. According to the World Bank, the five North African countries top the list of the twelve countries at the highest risk. These are frequently poorly predicted, and underline the imperative of early warning and early action. These two challenges will have a significant humanitarian impact and result in higher number of death and injuries; damage to shelters; loss of property and possessions; increased food insecurity; loss of coping mechanisms and livelihoods; exposure to diseases; and potential migration.
The 2010-2011 Plan and budget is resulting from a large consultation process undertaken with the Red Crescent Societies concerned. It is based on priorities identified by the National Societies and the commitments taken through various regional and global meetings. The ongoing monitoring and evaluation of recent disasters and health crises have outlined the critical gaps at National Society level. The regional Plan aims at supporting the development of stronger and integrated community based programmes, as well as adapting current disaster response and preparedness strategies to emerging challenges. These include climate change, population movement, migratory fluxes, and influenza pandemic preparedness. Programme evaluations and recommendations from previous years are used to build up responsive programmes. Specific focus will be put on the National Societies' community based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) projects, actively involving communities at risks, empowering women and youth as key-agents of behavioural change in the communities and integrating social aspects related to disasters and health (community based health and first aid, and psycho-social support).
In line with the global humanitarian partnership policy, the North Africa representation will also seek to further improve its cooperation with other key humanitarian players - both the traditional partners (national government, non-governmental organisations, European Union and United Nations Agencies) and increasingly with private sector partners sharing the same humanitarian objectives. At regional level, it will ensure knowledge and experience sharing through the development of active networks, thematic platforms, cross-border cooperation, pools of experts and exchange programmes.
The new emphasis on humanitarian diplomacy will enable National Societies and the International Federation to more effectively engage in the humanitarian debate, maximise its resources and build partnerships. Engaging in more robust humanitarian diplomacy with the range of external actors will foster greater understanding of the role of the Red Crescent in the development and capacity building contexts. Enhancing greater awareness of the work of the Red Cross/Red Crescent (RC/RC), and the Values that underpin their work, will flow from the stronger and more consistent emphasis on communicating RC/RC positions that humanitarian diplomacy necessarily entails.
The total 2010-2011 budget is CHF 3,860,059 (USD 3,741,169 or EUR 2,539,918).