Argentina + 2 more

Pan American Disaster Response Unit Appeal No. 01.47/2003 Programme Update No. 1

Source
Posted
Originally published


Appeal Target: CHF 1,539,402
Period covered: 1 January - 31 May 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: 52.2%

Outstanding needs: CHF 735,834

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: 01.49/2003 Caribbean Regional Programmes; 01.50/2003 Central America Regional Programmes; 01.51/2003 South America Regional Programmes

Programme Summary: During the reporting period, the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) was much involved in support to emergency operations in the Americas, notably the drought in Paraguay and response to the social crisis and flooding in Argentina. Disaster management and water and sanitation delegates from PADRU, together with a region al intervention team (RIT) trained National Society member, assisted with needs assessments, plans of action, the formulation of international appeals and capacity building. Much effort was devoted to the disaster response and disaster response preparedness components of the XVII Inter American Conference held in Santiago de Chile in April 2003. Training of regional and national intervention teams is ongoing and, over the reporting period, a national intervention team workshop was held at the Paraguayan Red Cross to reinforce disaster response preparedness. The regional logistics unit is finalizing its strategy for the Americas based on standards of service to National Societies and including purchasing and warehouse management, both physical and virtual, and relations with counterparts. Over the reporting period, the Ericsson response programme was launched officially, highlighting the Federation’s links with Ericsson in the area of communications in emergencies.

Operational developments

In the first part of 2003, PADRU concentrated efforts and gave priority to developing the process initiated at the end of 2002 relating to proposals on disaster management which would be presented during the XVII Inter American Conference held in April 2003. This process took the form of meetings and consultations with the National Societies through the disaster sub committee with the aim of drawing up the final document for presentation at the Conference in Santiago de Chile entitled "Reducing risks and improvin g coordination: towards an integral disaster management system in the Americas". It was therefore necessary to carry out an analysis of the reality of each National Society and a mapping exercise took place; of 33 National Societies, 26 responded to the questionnaire. In addition to this, two major priorities guided the work of the Unit: the first was to promote water and sanitation in emergencies together with OXFAM, and the second the design of strategies with the Pan American Health Organization in the structuring of a leadership training course in disaster preparedness and response.

Disaster Response

Goal: The National Societies of Latin America and the Caribbean are implementing efficient, responsive and focused disaster management, contributing to saving lives and improving the life of vulnerable people.

Objective: The National Societies and the Secretariat, as appropriate, are responding effectively and efficiently to disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean, ensuring a rapid transition from re lief to rehabilitation as part of an integrated process for the development of local capacities.

Progress/Achievements

Social Crisis in Argentina: In order to draw up a plan of action and to follow up activities in response to the social crisis, in the month of January, a Field Assessment and Coordination (FACT) team was deployed. PADRU provided support to the FACT team with a disaster management delegate, thus assisting the Argentine Red Cross to consolidate its humanitarian work during the crisis situation. Through the Secretariat, effective coordination was ensured with the media and with donors. With the support of the Federation and funding from the Italian Cooperation Agency, the Argentine Red Cross was in a position to initiate integrated activit ies in communities in the north of the country.

Earthquake in Mexico: The state of Colima located on the Pacific coast was struck by an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale in the month of January which particularly affected 400 families. The Mexican Red Cross took charge of the response operation and the Federation, through its representative in Mexico, assisted with the management of the information required by the media and by donors. At the same time, the American Red Cross and the Federation/PADRU, with the agreement of the Mexican Red Cross, mobilized a disaster management delegate in order to support the management of resources to assist those affected. Relief supplies consisting of 400 tents and 400 kitchen sets were deployed through the regional logistics unit in Panama, having been pre-positioned by the American Red Cross and suppliers.

Floods in Peru: The region of Puño in Peru was hit by heavy rains in February, resulting in severe flooding which affected 60,000 people. Humanitarian assistance was fully ensured by the Peruvian Red Cross and the needs assessment was supported by the PADRU disaster management delegate who was assigned the duties of a regional disaster preparedness delegate and who worked closely with the regional coordinator for disaster preparedness in South America and the Participating National Societies: the German and Spanish Red Cross Societies.

Floods in Argentina: With the agreement of the Argentine Red Cross and the regional delegation in Lima, during the initial 15 days of the emergency a disaster management delegate was deployed in Santa Fé. The delegate assisted with the damage and needs assessment as well as with the formulation of the plan of action and an international appeal. With the aim of boosting the operation and providing further logistics support, two further PADRU members were mobilized and a RITs team member was identified to take on the duties of coordinator in support of the Argentine Red Cross for a three month period. At the same time, cooperation with OXFAM was secured for joint initiatives in water and sanitation. These activities ensured that the most affected families in the Province were provided with assistance.

Support to other regions: With the aim of strengthening the Federation’s humanitarian network, and in the context of the conflict in the Middle East, a disaster management delegate representing the American Red Cross was deployed from PADRU to Turkey in order to provide relief and logistics support as part of the Federation response team in the region. The principal aim was to support the Turkish Red Crescent in the administration of the refugee camps sit uated close to the Iraqi border.

In accordance with the appeal objectives, PADRU has supported local disaster management staff from National Societies in disaster situations with expert personnel, as in the case of Argentina in the social crisis and floods response operations in which members of FACT and RITS teams were assigned to draw up plans of action and support the administration of response activities.

In coordination with the PNS and other donors involved in these emergency situations, evaluations and appeals were produced, as required. In the same way, activities undertaken by the Unit were coordinated not only between the Federation and PNS, but also with counterparts, such as OXFAM. With regard to logistics, purchases and supplies were carried out promptly in accordance with needs. All operations are monitored by the disaster management team and the information flow, managed mainly through the web site, provided follow up through the DMIS and the PADRU web pages.

Disaster Response Preparedness

Goal: The National Societies of Latin America and the Caribbean are implementing efficient, responsive and focused disaster management, contributing to saving lives and improving the life of vulnerable people.

Objective: National Societies of the Americas and the Caribbean and the Federation Secretariat have improved their combined and integrated disaster response capacities and have the required systems, plans, knowledge and resources to effectively respond in the face of disasters.

Disaster Response Planning:

A meeting held prior to the hurricane season aims to ensure contingency planning is in place in the event of hurricanes in the Caribbean region. Prior to the meeting/workshop on preparedness for the hurricane season held in June in Santo Domingo, a concept paper and an agenda were prepared. In addition, a communication and coordination meeting took place with the Dominican Red Cross and the sub regional office in Trinidad with a view to drawing up the budget and ensuring appropriate management of resources. An informative meeting also took place with ECHO representatives in Santo Domingo. From Panama, PADRU and the regional delegation worked together on the organization of the workshop.

As of April, work began on the initial design of the leadership course in disaster response and disaster preparedness, promoted by PAHO and the Federation. This training process responds to the need to strengthen the management of institutions which respond to disasters and ensure rehabilitation processes. The course is aimed to contribute to organizational strengthening at all levels, improving knowledge and skills in planning and implementation of activities. In order to define needs in relation to this course, a preparatory meeting was held with representatives of PAHO, the Ministry of Health of Panama, the Civil Defence, the Red Cross Society of Panama and the Salvadorean Red Cross Society. A representative of OFDA took part as a facilitator in the meeting during which the basis for a disaster preparedness and response programme was defined.

Given the need to strengthen the overall response system in the Americas and to develop a mechanism to improve planning and meet standards in disaster response, and on the basis of the mapping previously carried out with National Societies in the Americas, a second meeting of the disaster sub committee took place with the aim of finalizing the document on disasters. This meeting was held in Panama with the support of the Secretariat and the leadership of the National Societies of Jamaica, Mexico and Peru. As a result of this analysis, harmonization of information from 26 National Societies was carried out; all details are available on CD and have been shared with the National Societies. This information was gathered in preparation for the XVII Inter American Conference.

Relations with counterparts have been strengthened and together with th e National Societies and the disaster response system, the process of drawing up and developing standards for contingency plans in disaster response continues. During the reporting period, emphasis was placed on the forthcoming hurricane season.

Information and Telecommunications System:

PADRU has analyzed needs for telephone connections and internet in coordination with the disaster management delegate whose responsibilities include telecommunications. The recruitment of this new member of staff has enabled PADRU, following the analysis, to update contracts with suppliers for cellular telephones, reduce costs and improve services. In addition, meetings were held with local telephone companies and internet providers with a view to improving the connectivity and optimizing access to both the web page and the data base.

The Ericsson response programme was officially launched in the Caribbean and Central American regions, thereby strengthening working relations with Ericsson in the framework of the global cooperation agreement between Ericsson and the Federation in order to offer solutions in communications during disaster situations. PADRU has two containers of Ericsson mobile network material including equipment and computer programmes which enable the simultaneous use of 12 telephone lines. In addition, 1,200 mobile telephones are available and a team of 17 people are on call to support the programme.

The launch of the Ericsson response programme improved the visibility of disaster response and highlighted relations between the corporate sector and National Societies in the Americas. To strengthen information management and its flow, particularly during disasters, the possibility of broadening lines of communication, including internet connections, is currently being analyzed, with a view to optimizing information tools on the web.

Logistics Services and Systems

The regional logistics unit began the process of standardizing the services which it provides to National Societies, rationalizing the system of purchasing and warehouse management, both physical and virtual, working together with donors and counterparts in the formulation of a regional logistics strategy. The logistics strategy for the Americas has been shared with the Secretariat, regional dele gations and country offices, as well as with members of the logistics technical committee. Once the consultation process has been completed, a plan of action based on this strategy will be developed to ensure its successful implementation.

Over the reporting period, the regional logistics unit undertook 32 purchases in the amount of USD 168,579.11. Goods purchased include tents, boats, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, zinc sheeting, vehicles, vehicle spare parts, bladders, radios - VHF and Codan -, fire extinguishers, blankets, boxes and computers. This process necessitated a reorganization of the warehouse space to accommodate goods from UNICEF as part of the cooperation agreement with the Federation. In addition, the final stage of purchasing for the humanitarian operation in Fiji is under way and reinforced plastic, tents and kitchen kits are being forwarded.

In order to share experiences and promote tools, the regional logistics unit took part in the logistics workshop for volunteers organized by the Honduran Red Cross.

Water and Sanitation

Water and sanitation response equipment and teams were mobilized to provide support in different response operations during the reporting period. National Societies have been strengthened through training of human resources and National Society capacities in water, health and hygiene have been strengthened, as well as links with partner organizations.

The water and sanitation delegate carried out an evaluation of water and hygiene projects in Paraguay, focusing on an assessment of needs and the drawing up of a plan of action. In addition, monitoring of the construction of 51 rain water collection tanks in the same number of communities was ensured. In order to celebrate World Water Day and with a view to strengthening capacities in the Paraguayan Red Cross, a press conference was held emphasizing the importance of the event and presenting the work of the National Society through an operations update on the drought operation.

PADRU provided expertise in support of the Red Cross Society of Panama to assist various rural communities in the "dry belt", supplying them with potable water through a the use of a water tanker.

Disaster Response Training

The Americas benefits from a pool of trained human resource experts who are available to respond in a disaster situation. The training cycle promoted by PADRU is continuous, ensuring preparedness for response. During the reporting period, particular emphasis was made in strengthening the Paraguayan Red Cross in the formation of national intervention teams and in working with partners in training in water, sanitation and hygiene.

National Intervention Team (NIT)s training was carried out in the Paraguayan Red Cross, strengthening capacities in disaster preparedness, with the participation of 20 volunteers and staff members from the National Society.

In May, a "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion in Emergencies" workshop was held jointly with OXFAM. The workshop provided training in disaster response preparedness in the area of water and sanitation and was attended by 26 participants from the Red Cross and OXFAM.

PADRU also provided support to other regions and the Ghana Red Cross was strengthened with the coordination and implementation of activities related to the training of the special regional relief team for English speaking countries. 31 members of the team participated in a workshop which was held in accordance with Federation standards.

Outstanding Needs

There remain outstanding needs in relation to the appeal coverage. PADRU requires additional funding particularly for activities which aim to consolidate disaster management initiatives, as a continuation of activities initiated in 2002. In the same way, additional funding is sought to strengthen the logistics capacity of the National Societies and the regional delegations and to promote expertise in the areas of health in emergencies, water and sanitation and telecommunications. From the point of view of response, it is necessary to ensure resources to ensure improved planning and mobilization of resources and to facilitate coordination, communication and information flow.

For further information please contact:

  • Nelson Castaño, Head, Pan American Disaster Response Unit, phone (507) 316 10 01; Fax;(507) 316 1082; e-mail; ifrcpa07@ifrc.org
  • Olaug Bergseth, Regional Officer, phone (41) 22 730 45 35; fax; (41) 22 733 03 95 e-mail; Olaug.Bergseth@ifrc.org

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

PADRU
ANNEX 1
APPEAL No. 01.47/2003
PLEDGES RECEIVED
04/08/03
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
CASH

TOTAL COVERAGE
REQUESTED IN APPEAL CHF
>
1,539,402

52.2%
CASH CARRIED FORWARD
203,929


AMERICAN - RC
20,000
USD
25,750
31.03.03
WAREHOUSING MAINTENANCE
AMERICAN - RC
5,000
USD
6,438
24.06.03
AMERICAS CONFERENCE
AMERICAN - RC
20,000
USD
27,020
30.06.03
PURCHASE OF FORKLIFT, INTERNET ACCESS
BRITISH - GOVT/DFID (04)


35,000
24.02.03

BRITISH - RC
10,650
GBP
22,514
09.06.03
PRE-HURRICANE MEETING
CANADIAN - RC
28,000
CAD
25,984
16.04.03
DELEGATES FIELD COSTS
OXFAM
28,022
USD
36,078
06.05.03
WATSAN WORKSHOP
SWEDISH - GOVT
300,000
SEK
48,150
21.05.03

SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN CASH
430,863
CHF
28.0%

KIND AND SERVICES (INCLUDING PERSONNEL)
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
AMERICAN - RC
DELEGATE(S)


140,000
18.06.03

CANADA
DELEGATE(S)


82,956


SPAIN
DELEGATE(S)


57,495


GREAT BRITAIN
DELEGATE(S)


59,959


SWEDEN
DELEGATE(S)


32,361


SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN KIND/SERVICES
372,771
CHF
24.2%

ADDITIONAL TO APPEAL BUDGET
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED
0
CHF