Programme purpose: The secretariat of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Americas Zone seeks to provide all possible and relevant support to the 35 Red Cross Societies of the Americas, aiming to increase their capacities to reach and assist a greater number of vulnerable people living in high-risk conditions. By enhancing their work in strengthening community resilience, as well as being present where and when needs are greatest, the Red Cross seeks to make a difference.
The Americas Zone Office leads and coordinates its support through its Regional Representations, in line with the IFRC's New Operating Model, building the membership's capacity to deliver the Global Agenda and to build stronger National Societies. This is described in Framework for Action which is in line with the objectives and strategies prioritized in the Inter-American Plan 2007-2011. The Americas Zone Office also has a strong role in advocating for the work of the Red Cross in the Americas in international fora.
In the area of Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Management, five countries have launched the Global Alliance on Disaster Risk Reduction and have developed a project proposal to be presented to donors. Since the arrival of the Zone Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator, the first meeting with the continental disaster management team took place. The Centres of Reference are on a path to broaden their scope of action and services to reach National Societies throughout the Americas. Moreover, several trainings targeting volunteers and staff from the National Societies have taken place to increase capacities in the areas of health in emergencies, epidemic control, financial and administration procedures, shelter and emergency disaster response.
In addition, an International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) Coordinator has joined the Disaster Management team to increase knowledge and improve advocacy in IDRL throughout the Americas Zone.
The HIV programme was implemented in accordance with the Global Alliance on HIV framework in the Americas with a focus on continental Global Alliance coordination, tailored regional support to National Society Global Alliance members, small funding initiatives for further development of HIV programming in six non-Global Alliance countries in Latin America, and direct funding support to nine of the ten National Societies that are current members of the Global Alliance on HIV in the Americas: Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras and Jamaica. In 2009, National Societies further developed and expanded their work in HIV prevention with the most at-risk populations, anti-stigma and anti-discrimination advocacy, and in several National Societies providing care, treatment and support services to people living with HIV (PLHIV), orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV (OVC).
During 2009 major attention was ensured to respond to the A(H1N1) pandemic at all levels of National Societies, from decision-makers to technical staff for prevention, mitigation and care during the pandemic. The Community-Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA) in Action methodology has been promoted amongst National Societies of the region and key Partner National Societies (PNS). Four master facilitators were trained in the CBHFA methodology at a workshop held in East Africa and this group went on to replicate the training in seven National Societies in the Caribbean with participation of secretariat staff from South America and the Zone Office.
National Societies further developed Club 25, the IFRC's youth voluntary blood donor recruitment strategy and shared lessons learnt and good practice at a continental meeting held in late 2009. An external evaluation of three years of implementation of Club 25 conducted in late 2009 provided important information on the roll out of the Club 25 strategy in the Americas to date.
The Organizational Development programme has devoted particular attention to the integrity cases of the Brazilian and Nicaraguan Red Cross Societies. The Volunteering Review was finalized early in the year, and has been sent to the secretariat headquarters for final review and printing. With support from the Swedish Red Cross, a Volunteer Development Coordinator has been working in the Americas Zone. Moreover, with support from the Norwegian Red Cross, the basis to provide appropriate support to the National Societies in resource mobilization has been established, to provide orientation to National Societies on two main issues: business planning and approaching the corporate sector. Some National Societies of the Americas have developed business and marketing plans in order to help them identify business lines that can contribute to their income generation.
The Humanitarian Principles and Values programme in the Zone does not have sufficient funds, nor does it have a coordinator. Some actions on Migration and Communication and Advocacy have been carried out with the support of the extended team, but it has been largely unfeasible to implement the plan with limited resources.
Financial situation: The total 2009 budget was 1,862,368 Swiss francs (1,526,411 US dollars/ 1,023,200 euro), of which 1,739,230 Swiss francs (93 per cent) was covered during the reporting period (including opening balance). Overall expenditure during the reporting period was 1,582,613 Swiss francs (85 per cent) of the budget.
No. of people we have reached: The Americas Zone worked in support of the National Societies of the continent whose services are targeted at the most vulnerable populations, amongst which the vulnerability; people and families in conditions of high vulnerability caused by extreme poverty and health inequity; grass-root community organizations; educational centres and the national systems of disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response.
In the Global Alliance on HIV framework ten National Societies reached 1,599,570 people with prevention and anti-stigma messages, and care, treatment and support services in 2009. Please see the annex Table 1 for details.
Moreover, during 2009, a total of 289,215 people benefited from the DREF activities (annex 1) and 35,000 beneficiaries were assisted through Emergency Appeals (annex 2) with the support of the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU).
Our partners: Within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, there is close cooperation with various Partner National Societies (PNS) - the American Red Cross, the British Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross, the Finnish Red Cross, the French Red Cross, the German Red Cross, the Italian Red Cross, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Netherlands Red Cross, the Norwegian Red Cross, the Spanish Red Cross and the Swedish Red Cross - and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in support of National Societies throughout the Americas.
In addition, there are partnerships with many external organizations at all levels (community, regional and national), with community-based, national and international organizations such as the United Nations system, the Pan American Health Organization - PAHO / World Health Organization - WHO, the United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - OCHA, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and other developmental agencies and government bodies including the United States Agency for International Development - USAID, the United Kingdom Department for International Development - DFID and the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid Office - ECHO. Partnerships with international marketing and advertising firms such as Albatros Media, Inglefield Ogilvy and Mather and Llorente y Cuenca have also been central to the work during 2009.