Bahamas + 7 more

Caribbean: Appeal No. MAA49001 Programme Update No. 1

This report covers the period 01/01/2008 to 30/06/2008

In brief

Programme purpose: National Societies in the Caribbean region are implementing efficient, responsive and focused programmes that contribute to improving the lives of vulnerable people. These programmes are aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Programme summary: The first half of 2008 was an extremely busy year for the region. The Caribbean Regional Representation in the Port of Spain (CRRO) and the newly established Latin Caribbean Regional Representation (LCRR) (covering Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti)) faced various emergency operations in addition to the upscale in activities undertaken by the various programmes of the Regional Representations. In addition, the Latin Caribbean Regional Representation was a new office; therefore the first six months of 2008 were spent setting up the RR while focusing on establishing good working relationships with the National Societies, the Movement actors present in the countries and the external partners.

The 2007 hurricane season saw the passing of several hurricanes and tropical storms in the region, leaving many countries affected. A key focus in 2008 has been placed on ensuring the recovery from the hurricanes in addition to ensuring that the National Societies and the region as a whole are prepared for the 2008 hurricane season. During the first six months of 2008, the Caribbean Regional Representation Office was responsible for the completion of the appeal that was launched in response to Hurricane Dean. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti were also were impacted by Hurricane Noel and Tropical Storm Olga.

The investments made in the Disaster Risk Reduction programme showed their value, as National Societies deployed Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRTs) and National Intervention Teams (NITs) to fulfil a key role in the preparedness and response to the aforementioned disasters. Therefore, the programme continues to expand its activities, meeting the requirements and needs of National Societies and the vulnerable communities served by the National Societies. In addition, the Federation has invested heavily in increasing key partnerships within the region during this year. In the LCRR the focus was on setting up the DFID (UK Department for International Development) programme that supported Disaster Management programme in Haiti.

The Health and Care programme also invested in new partnerships. In the first six months of 2008, support to People Living with HIV was increased, as the Federation operationalized its partnership with the Caribbean Regional Network of PLHIV (CRN+), in order to support peer counselling. The four countries that are part of the Global Alliance on HIV- Belize, Guyana, Haiti and Jamaica -continued with the Federation, preparing for the launch of the Global Alliance with the Federation's Regional Representations. In addition, the Haitian National Red Cross Society launched the Caribbean Regional World Disaster Report that focuses on HIV AIDS.

In the Organizational Development programme, CBF (Capacity Building Fund) funding enabled better support to National Societies in the region, focussing on volunteer management and the development of youth networks in the Red Cross movement. Volunteer Management training has taken place in four National Societies during 2008 and an intern from Guyana Red Cross has been working with the CRRO on developing a youth report and initializing the preparations for the first regional youth forum to be held in August.

During this reporting period there have been many positive developments with a substantial number of activities and support throughout the region; the key challenge for the Federation is to provide the tailored service the National Societies in the Caribbean require. There is a great potential to maintain a regional approach to programmes, as the National Societies have a variety of needs that require different levels of support to sustain their development and access to partner support. Also there is limited flexible funding to provide this type of tailored support. A key priority for the second half of 2008 will be to explore how Federation support can be adapted under the given circumstances.

Financial situation: The total 2008 budget is CHF 3,397,686 (USD 3,233,034 or EUR 2,265,124) of which 50 per cent covered. Overall expenditure was 78 per cent.

Disaster Management programme to date received the majority of the funding this year; funding for HIV and AIDS was received slowly. The majority of the funding through the Capacity Building Fund will be spent on activities that are planned to take place in the second half of the year. Nearly all the funding received in the Caribbean is earmarked funding. The management of the Dean Appeal and the implementation of activities with a budget of CHF 2,927,000 has meant that many activities were added in support of disaster preparedness, health and capacity building to those originally planned.