Angola + 9 more

Southern Africa: IFRC appeals for US $13 million

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JOHANNESBURG, 5 December (IRIN) - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is appealing for more than US $13 million to fund its humanitarian programmes in southern Africa.
A statement from the IFRC's regional delegation in Harare on Wednesday said that the IFRC had allocated US $44 million to programmes in Africa. In its global appeal, launched in Geneva on Tuesday 4 December, the IFRC said that it needed US $162 million to fund it programmes world-wide.

"Despite the diversity of the ten countries served by the Federation's regional delegation in Harare - Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe - the region (southern Africa) is characterised by a proneness to natural disasters, poor health standards and the disproportionately high numbers of people living with HIV/AIDS," the IFRC said.

In its appeal for southern Africa, priority has been given to supporting health and care programmes, allocating US $5.4 million to this sector. Special emphasis has been placed on HIV/AIDS activities to help prevent the further spread of the disease and to "mitigate the impact of those infected and affected by it."

Speaking at the launch of the global appeal Didier J. Cherpitel, Secretary-General of the IFRC said that for the first time, the global appeal sought more funding for health (US $51.2 million) than for disaster response (US $32 million). "This is a reflection of the emphasis placed on prioritising the fight against HIV/AIDS which will kill more people this decade than all the wars and other disasters that have occurred over the past 50 years," Cherpitel said.

The IFRC has budgeted US $1.9 million to enable it to respond to disasters in the region. A spokeswoman for the regional delegation in Harare told IRIN: "Disaster preparedness and response is still a very important part of the IFRC's work, but we realised that there was a desperate need to scale up activities in the health sector to fight disease which are threatening as many people as disasters."

The organisation said that it was seeking an additional US $3 million in 2002 to support the Mozambican Red Cross in disaster response, preparedness and rehabilitation programmes. "We learnt from the two years of flooding (in Mozambique) that early preparation paid off and helped us respond faster," the spokeswoman said.

She told IRIN that so far the IFRC and the Mozambican Red Cross had pre-positioned about 3,000 tents, 6,700 blankets, 3,000 kitchen kits, 3,000 mosquito nets and nearly 15,000 jerry cans. "We also conducted a training workshop in Chimoio in central Mozambique in October to build local capacity to respond to disasters. We are confident that should any kind of flooding take place, we will be able to respond," she said.

The full text of the appeal can be found on the IFRC website: http:/www.ifrc.org/where/appeals/appeal02.asp

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