Caribbean: Appeal No. MAA49001 Programme Update No. 1

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 181 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
In Brief

Period covered: 1 January to 31 March 2006

Appeal coverage in relation to 2006 target: 58.6%

Outstanding needs: CHF 1,409,856 (USD 1,135,217 or EUR 891,614).

Revised Appeal target for 2006 and 2007: CHF 5,269,273 (USD 4,244,410 or EUR 3,333,155)

Appeal target for 2006: CHF 3,410,594 (USD 2,747,526 or EUR 2,157,227)

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: Floods from Hurricane Stan (05EA021); Bahamas, Cuba & Mexico: Hurricane Wilma (05EA024); Haiti Appeal (MAAHT001); PADRU Appeal (MAA42001).

Programme summary: The goal of the Port of Spain Sub-Regional Office, in conjunction with the Panama Regional Delegation and the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), in 2006 continues to be to provide support to National Societies and Branches of the British, French and Netherlands overseas territories in the core programme areas, in accordance with the Plan of Action of the Inter American Conference, Strategy 2010 and the Caribbean Cooperation Agreement Strategy, by building the capacities of National Societies through regional networks and external partnerships, the harmonization of regional methodologies and campaigns, and the promotion of humanitarian principles and values. Following the decisions at the General Assembly in November 2005, the Caribbean National Societies and their partners will identify ways to respond to the Global Agenda and scale up the impact of Red Cross work in the region. This focus will be increasingly reflected throughout 2006, leading up to the next Inter American Conference in June 2007.

The Federation has substantially expanded its organizational development programme after almost exclusively focusing for two years on the Regional Organizational Development Network. Activities implemented during the reporting period have concentrated on developing a Volunteer Management Toolkit, strategic planning and the revision of Statutes.

The North Atlantic Hurricane season officially commenced on 1 June. With support from PADRU, National Societies and Overseas Branches have been able to upgrade and expand the reach of the regional HF radio communications system, improve the conditions in which pre-positioned stocks are stored and increase the technical skills of their staff and volunteers. A PADRU Disaster Management delegate is based in the Sub- Regional Office to improve coordination between the two offices and to ensure an even more efficient and speedy disaster response to National Societies and Overseas Branches. With the Caribbean's vulnerability to natural disasters, the regional risk reduction programme has worked with the two regional centres of reference for disaster preparedness in translating the National Intervention Team (NIT) training manuals.

The fight against HIV/AIDS continues to be addressed through the Together We Can peer education methodology and the Come Closer global campaign, and the strengthening of National Society health capacities is supported through the Caribbean HIV/AIDS (CARAN) Network. Following a successful launch on World AIDS Day in December last year, the regional health programme has further disseminated the Nobody has the Truth Written on their Face. Protect Yourself. Use a Condom campaign. Although not originally included in the Caribbean Appeal, the regional health programme is also promoting the roll-out of the Club 25 methodology to improve recruitment and retention of blood donors, and the drafting of a Continental Psychosocial Support Strategic Plan. The overall ability of National Societies to respond to an Avian Influenza Virus threat is currently being investigated through questionnaires sent out through the health programme.

The mechanisms for promoting humanitarian principles and values concentrated on the regional website and quarterly newsletter. A consultant was hired to adapt and introduce the HIV/AIDS taxis campaign Transporting Respect for People Living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean; the campaign which promotes respect and tolerance for people living with HIV/AIDS, reached over 80,000 people within a six month period in Honduras and El Salvador in 2005.

Operational developments

In January 2006, the new Head of the Regional Delegation for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean took over from his predecessor, making this period important for the coordination of briefings, information exchange and planning for 2006. A number of high-level meetings were held in this period, most notably the Continental Programme Meeting, held in Panama during the last two weeks of February, in which members of the Americas Department in Geneva worked with the Lima and Panama Regional Delegations, PADRU and the Sub Regional Office, taking the opportunity to discuss the Federation of the Future and the Federation's strategy for the Americas. Two key staff positions were filled during the reporting period with the contracting of a Disaster Management Officer for the Sub Regional Office and a Risk Reduction Delegate based in the Panama regional delegation.

A concerted effort was made to clear many outstanding balances from completed emergency operations and closed development projects. Donors were generally very receptive in approving the reallocation of funds to ongoing programmes, which allowed the Federation to implement its planned activities for the first three months of the year. The financial situation looks healthy as regards coverage of the 2006 Appeal budget; however, more than 50% of income is from balances brought forward. The Sub Regional Office will need to work with donors in the areas which are not covered, to ensure programmes can continue without interruption for the remainder of the year and beyond.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Trinidad & Tobago: Julia Brothwell, Coordinator, Port of Spain Sub-Regional Office; Julia.brothwell@ifrc.org, phone (868) 627-2665, fax (868)627-962

In Geneva: Luis Luna, Federation Regional Officer, Americas Department, Geneva; email: luis.luna@ifrc.org; phone(41 22) 730-4274; fax (41 22) 733-0395

This Programme Update reflects activities to be implemented over a one-year period. This forms part of, and is based on, longer-term, multi-year planning (refer below to access the detailed logframe documents). 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 in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

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