Argentina + 13 more

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund Appeal No. 01.95/2003 Programme Update No. 1

Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments


Appeal Target: CHF 3,400,000 (USD 2,446,214 or EUR 2,336,657)
Period covered: January - April, 2003

The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org

In Brief

Appeal coverage: 16.7%; See attached Contributions List for details.

Outstanding needs: CHF 2,832,634 (USD 2,080,524 / EUR 1,919,779)

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: this is a non-earmarked credit facility

Summary: All 12 operations requesting DREF were granted with the full requested amount. For the reporting period: CHF 977’056 total allocation; CHF 481’287 total reimbursed; CHF 75,000 pending from 2002 (total reimbursements Jan-April); CHF 1,900,599 outstanding; Current DREF balance: CHF 6,365,737

Operational developments

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is the Federation’s main tool in providing seed capital to start operations in times of disaster. The Fund started the fiscal year with an opening balance of CHF 7,656,516. During the reporting period the Fund has made twelve allocations in total: 5 to Africa, 4 to Asia/Pacific, 1 to MENA and 2 to the Americas (details of which can be found below). The total amount allocated was CHF 977,056 of which CHF 481,287 has been reimbursed. Out of these allocations three have managed to fully reimburse the Fund and one has reimbursed over 70% of the allocation. Operations funded in 2002 have also been able to reimburse either fully or partially (details in Annex 1). At the time of writing this report the Fund stood at CHF 6,365,737. The total amount of contributions for the period January-April 2003 is CHF 567,366 (see annex 2).

Operations

Goal: the goal of the DREF is to provide immediate funding in response to major and minor disasters thereby enabling the Federation to react rapidly, effectively and efficiently.

Objective: to make DREF a secured line of credit for new emergencies.

Progress/Achievements (activities implemented within this objective)

As mentioned above the Fund has provided 12 operations with allocations totalling CHF 977,056. Out these twelve allocations, 7 operations launched an appeal (italics in the below table). The regional breakdown of this amount is as follows:

Date
Location1
Disaster Type
Amount Requested
Amount Approved
Reimbursed
Remaining
AFRICA
08/01/03
Mozambique 2 Floods
70,000
70,000
70,000
0
20/02/03
Mauritania Drought
100,000
100,000
0
100,000
20/02/03
Uganda Support to National Society
50,000
50,000
0
50,000
19/03/03
Chad CAR refugees and returnees
20,000
20,000
0
20,000
22/04/03
Zambia & Zimbabwe Malaria Emergency
162,000
162,000
0
162,000
Africa Total
332,000
AMERICAS
24/01/03
Bolivia Floods
30,000
30,000
0
30,000
30/04/03
Argentina Floods
50,000
50,000
0
50,000
Americas total
80,000
ASIA
03/01/03
Bangladesh Winter Relief
50,056
50,056
31,287
18,769
08/01/03
Mongolia Snowfall
300,000
300,000
300,000
0
23/01/03
Fiji Cyclone Ami
80,000
80,000
80,000
0
Asia Total
18,769
EUROPE
11/04/03
Russian Federation School fires
15,000
15,000
0
15,000
Europe Total
15,000
MENA
30/01/03
Tunisia Cold wave and heavy rains
50,000
50,000
0
50,000
MENA Total
50,000
TOTAL
977,056
977,056
481,287
495,769

Note:
1 Those for which an appeal was launched are in italics and coverage of appeal is marked in comments (electronic version)
2 National appeal launched by the national society

Chronological details of allocations are as follows:

Bangladesh - Winter Relief

Amount Allocated: CHF 50,056
Status: CHF 18,769 outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=27

The extreme fall in temperature in the northern region of Bangladesh, accompanied by dense fog, paralysed normal life and resulted in the deaths of over 200 people. It was estimated that the death toll was higher than what is currently recorded, as there were some areas that were not accessible. The government provided limited assistance to some districts and in addition issued an appeal to all humanitarian organisations to supply warm clothing and blankets to the poor and homeless - those most affected by the cold spell.

The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BRCS) distributed approximately 4,000 blankets from it's emergency stock to those areas which are most affected. Hence, the DREF allocation was used to procure and distribute additional blankets (approximately 5,500) in the eight, hardest hit, districts. The DREF allocation is over 60% covered.

Mozambique - Floods

Amount Allocated: CHF 70,000
Status: fully reimbursed
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/cgi/pdf_appeals.pl?rpts03/mozfl03a2.pdf*

Mozambique is particularly prone to natural disasters. The current flood situation started on 31 December 2002 when tropical depression "Delfina" delivered heavy rains affecting the northern province of Nampula. Preliminary assessments conducted by the provincial government indicated that 800 houses, which were constructed with precarious materials, were destroyed, affecting approximately 4,000 people.

The Mozambique Red Cross Society (MRCS) created multi-sectoral teams to assess the needs and the damage caused within the affected areas in order to respond effectively to the disaster. The assessment process has been delayed as the government had limited capacity to access affected sites.

The allocation was used to support the MRCS operational costs and to deliver immediate assistance to those most affected. No international appeal was launched, however the MRCS launched a local appeal. The Italian Bilateral Fund covered the DREF allocation.

Mongolia - Snowfalls

Amount Allocated: CHF 300,000
Status: fully reimbursed
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=27

Mongolia has faced a devastating winter in 2003, which exacerbated the effects of the three previous drought cycles causing extreme poverty among a significant portion of the population. It is estimated that over 655,000 people have been severely affected. The summer drought prevented a large number of herders from collecting enough hay for the winter period forcing many to use their already scarce stocks. In the first two weeks of January 2003 over 24,000 animals were reported dead. Between 2.3 and 2.5 million animal could die within the next 3 - 4 months.

The International Federation undertook an assessment of the situation based on which the needs were identified. Wheat flour, boots, jackets and trousers for children and radios were seen to be the most pressing needs. The target number of beneficiaries was 115,000 individuals.

DREF was allocated to procure and distribute 500 MT of wheat flour (6 month ration) for 16,500 people in three of the worst affected regions: Khubsgul, Bulgan and Selenge. This allocation still remains outstanding.

Fiji - Cyclone Ami

Amount Allocated: CHF 80,000
Status: fully reimbursed
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?iYear=0&xFlag=2&countryid=66&view=1

On 14 January 2003 Tropical Cyclone Ami hit Fiji destroying homes and flooding parts of the South Pacific Archipelago. A state of disaster was declared for the areas of Lau, Lmaiviti and the whole of Vanua Levu. Villages and paths were badly affected, with major damage to houses, crops and infrastructure including schools, telecommunication and electricity supply. Heavy rainfall led to landslides and intensive flooding, combined with storm surges giving rise to dangerous flash floods. Lack of access to clean water was a major concern with increased risks of serious outbreaks of water borne diseases such as cholera and letospirosis, which are endemic in the area.

The Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) was the first to respond by providing the affected population with relief items through its branch network, supported by Red Cross volunteers. The DREF allocation was used to assist the FRCS to meet the most elementary household requirements for approximately 30,000 individuals affected by the cyclone. The allocation has been fully reimbursed.

Bolivia - Floods

Amount Allocated: CHF 30,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=33

On 21 January heavy rains together with hail, hit the Bolivian capital, La Paz. There were several mudslides and many homes were flooded. In Río Abajo on the outskirts of the city, flood waters drained from the capital and water accumulated in the areas of Palomar, Huayhuasi and Huaricana where 400 families lost their crops which were swept away by the swollen river. In Achocalla, near the capital, 18 families were evacuated and are now living in tents provided by the civil defence, which is also supplying food rations. In the area of La Asunta and Guanay, torrential rainfall over several weeks caused the river Bopi to overflow, as a result of which the crops of 400 families were ruined. An assessment was carried out by the civil defence, which requested the Bolivian Red Cross (BRC) to provide food. In Bermejo in the department of Tarija, in the south of Bolivia, heavy, persistent rain has resulted in the Grande and Bermejo Rivers bursting their banks, particularly affecting the small towns of Naranjitos and Campo Grande and causing damage to 40 houses and the loss of crops for 300 families.

DREF was used to assist 700 families in La Asunta and Bermejo with food supplies.

Tunisia - Cold Wave and Heavy Rains

Amount Allocated: CHF 50,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest operations update: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=173

Since early January a cold wave and heavy rainfall adversely affected Tunisia. The resulting floods were the worst in ten years following three years of drought. Over 3,600 families lost or were forced to leave their homes, losing most of their belongings including annual food reserves of oil and couscous. Nine governorates were affected. The army and the civil defence were mobilized for evacuations.

The allocation was used for the procurement of warm clothing, blankets, hygiene kits/diapers and basic foodstuffs for two of the worst affected regions. DREF has not yet been reimbursed.

Mauritania - Drought

Amount Allocated: CHF 100,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest operations update: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=114

The food security situation is characterised by poor agro-climatic conditions provoked by the late onset of the rainy season and insufficient rains which have undermined Mauritania’s cereal harvest for the second consecutive year. There has been a decrease in cereal production for 2002/2003, down 18% from 2001/2002 resulting in rising market process and overall short supply of millet, sorghum and maize. There has been an accompanying drop in the price of livestock, with agro-pastoralist obliged to partly use their stocks because of insufficient pasture and to purchase cereal. Pastureland will not cover more than 3 months of livestock consumption, which will result in the reduction of milk and meat production.

The allocation was used for the procurement of the required food supplies in order to formulate a daily meal for children and the initial team leader delegate costs. At the time of this report the appeal was 5.6% covered.

Uganda - Support to the National Society

Amount Allocated: 50,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=176

Thousands of refugees escaping from ethnic fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been camping along the border inside Uganda's Nebbi District. The influx resumed after many Congolese returned to their homes in December due to relative calm in heavy fighting between rebel groups in the DRC. The renewed fighting resulted in lost lives, burning of cattle, theft and looting of household items. As a result victims fled across the border.

Refugees have resisted attempts by the Ugandan government and the UNHCR to settle them in refugee camps. The total number of refugees in Nebbi and surrounding areas is currently estimated at 15,000 individuals but the numbers are rapidly increasing due to the escalation of the conflict in DRC. This influx coincided with the dry season in Nebbi, resulting in a water and sanitation crisis. Seasonal rivers and wells dried up, and boreholes broke down. Existing health care systems were stretched to their limits with an acute shortage of medical facilities, personnel and drugs.

The allocation was used to support the Ugandan Red Cross Society in providing immediate relief assistance to the affected population. The appeal is approximately 58% covered.

Chad - Refugees and Returnees

Amount Allocated: CHF 20,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/cgi/pdf_appeals.pl?rpts03/chadref03a1.pdf*

Following the coup on Saturday 14 March in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) which toppled the Government and the looting which followed, the Chad Red Cross requested the release of CHF 20,000 from DREF to complement the assistance which it carried out with local NGOs and UN partners in order to be able to assist those affected.

Russian Federation - School Fires

Amount Allocated: CHF 15,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=142

Severe fires broke out in two Russian schools in the Republics of Yakutia and Dagestan on 7 and 10 April killing a total of 50 children. The first fire broke out in Yakutia, just as the children were starting classes. There were over 100 students in the building at the time and nine personnel. 22 children died and 9 were hospitalised. The second fire broke out in Dagestan where 166 handicapped children (deaf and dumb) were sleeping in a boarding school. 28 children between the ages of 7-14 died and 113 were hospitalised with severe burns, trauma and asphyxia. The two-floor building of the boarding school was burnt down.

The Russian Red Cross intervened immediately through its local branches in the respective areas. In Yakutia, volunteers and staff collected donations in moneyboxes, opened a special account for public donations and allocated food aid for the families of the affected children. In Dagestan, the local Red Cross branch organised blood donations from students and volunteers from the Red Cross youth movement.

The allocation was used for the purchase of basic medicaments.

Zambia/Zimbabwe - Malaria Emergency

Amount Allocated: CHF 162,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/cgi/pdf_appeals.pl?rpts03/zimmal1.pdf*

Serious, large-scale malaria epidemics in Zimbabwe are ongoing and there is a risk for spill over to neighbouring Zambia after floods caused by the cyclones Japheth and Kulede. The situation is particularly dangerous as it follows a period of drought, famine and malnutrition. Combined with a high prevalence of HIV infections, the overall immunity against malaria is considerably reduced. In addition, preventive measures such as insecticide residual house spraying (IRHS) could not be carried out this year and many health centres are depleted of antimalarial drugs. This is exacerbated by poor/no access to even basic malaria treatment.

Since March 2003, there has been increased transmission. Malaria epidemics have broken out in nine districts in Zimbabwe with 97,885 cases and 164 deaths. Continued heavy rains and floods after two cyclones compounded by the interruption of preventive activities due to the shortage of fuel and foreign currency, worsened the outbreaks. As a result, 1,912,100 people were considered at high risk of malaria in Zimbabwe. Mortality is expected to be high because of the low immunity and often no access to basic anti malarial drugs and treatment.

The DREF allocation was used for training, treatment of simple and severe malaria in addition to the transport costs.

Argentina - Floods

Amount Allocated: CHF 50,000
Status: whole amount outstanding
Latest information bulletin: http://www.ifrc.org/where/country/cn6.asp?countryid=20

As a result of heavy rains the city of Santa Fe underwent a critical floods situation. Over a third of the province was inundated. All the sectors involved with services activities, municipal and provincial, the army and non-profit organizations, worked to assist more than 50,000 people from Santa Fe capital and the surroundings. The Argentina Red Cross (ARC) sent 10 tons of relief goods from Buenos Aires to Santa Fe province in a truck; these goods were part of the provisions storage for the Argentina Crisis appeal. Currently the Argentina Red Cross rescued about 1,000 people from houses and roofs of the flooded zones. A needs assessment & response-planning mission to the disaster area, the Buenos Aires Lima Sub-regional Office and Argentina RC’s headquarters was carried out.

DREF was used to purchase relief supplies (particularly food and hygiene articles), the above-mentioned mission and other urgent initial activities for the rescue & relief operation.

Impact

DREF has been able to provide all operations with the full amount requested to kick start assistance thereby providing immediate relief to the beneficiaries. The Delegations and National Societies using DREF have found it to be an invaluable tool for the provision of immediate assistance to victims of disasters. All DREF allocations executed during this period were mainly to sudden onset disasters.

With regards to reimbursements of allocations made in 2002 operations over CHF 1,900,599 remains outstanding with minimal reimbursements being made during the reporting period.

Constraints

Funding for DREF has been rather slow with only 16.5% coverage achieved at the end of the first quarter. Reimbursements have also been slow and the requests for funds are on the increase. There is also a need to greater understand and appreciate the role of the Fund which is to kick start operations - in this regard greater efforts will have to be made in order to ensure that this is adhered to. There is a danger that the fund would run low thereby limiting the amount, which could be approved for operations, as a result of a combination of both low funding and late reimbursements.

For further information please contact:

Amna Al-Ahmar, Senior Officer - DMC, amna.alahmar@ifrc.org, Direct line #: + 41 22 730 4427, fax#: +22 733 0395

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 http://www.ifrc.org

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