This annual report focuses on the work of the Asia Pacific zone office in 2009 to provide leadership and guidance to the International Federation efforts to increase the impact of Asia Pacific national societies' humanitarian activities. 2009 has been a very busy but productive period as the zone office has responded to multiple disasters simultaneously, while carrying forward several new initiatives designed to increase the impact of its work with Asia Pacific national societies. Many national societies across the zone have maintained a high level of programming in comprehensive post-disaster recovery activities while others have started reviewing their development activities in line with the International Federation's newly adopted Strategy 2020.
Notable achievements in the year have included:
- The transfer of the tsunami unit from Geneva to the zone office, and with the zone office now having responsibility for overseeing the tsunami operations.
- Six emergency appeals were launched during this year; Pakistan: humanitarian assistance for internally displaced people, Bangladesh: Cyclone Aila (both in June), and the four emergency appeals in response to disasters that struck Philippines, Viet Nam, Samoa and Indonesia within a ten-day period in September/October.
- The consolidation of the reorganized Asia Pacific disaster management unit which was able to successfully carry out its lead role in the international coordination of these disasters.
- Total expenditure for all emergency appeals and post-disaster recovery operations, which assisted 2.2 million beneficiaries during the year, was CHF 168 million, representing 76% of the Federation's worldwide total.
- During the year, the zone office issued 678 donor narrative and financial reports on the operations and programmes carried out in the region, none of which were overdue.
- There has been significant progress in the production of knowledge sharing materials in the form of fact sheets and DVDs, in the disaster management and organisational development fields, highlighting experience and lessons learned.
- There has been an active response to the threat of H1N1 and related influenza pandemics, with information materials being distributed to all national societies and 31 receiving direct assistance.
- Support was provided to several national societies to revise their strategic plans and review their legal base (including Bangladesh, Indonesia, New Zealand, Philippines and Sri Lanka).
- Humanitarian diplomacy initiatives have included taking forward the emerging partnership with the Asian Development Bank through starting country level consultations in 7 countries; carrying out a review and dialogue with 12 national societies on their understanding and activities in humanitarian diplomacy; and preparatory work for a potential partnership with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
- The 5-year global report on ongoing tsunami recovery programmes in Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Somalia and Seychelles - focusing on the considerable progress in construction of homes and community infrastructure, as the tsunami recovery operation draws to a close.
- Receiving an international award for its work in profiling the activities of national societies and the International Federation in responding to disasters and in advance of the fifth year anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004.
- Asia Pacific-wide information systems support through nine country visits and continuous online assistance have improved information technology in regional and country offices in terms of hardware, software and systems that conform to International Federation standards.
- The total income for the nineteen Federation Asia Pacific annual plans to support national societies' longer-term activities in 2009 was CHF 48.6 million, representing124 per cent coverage of budgets.
Financial situation: The revised zone office programme budget for 2009 was CHF 1,451,796 (USD 1.4 million or EUR 0.96 million). Coverage was 110 per cent while expenditure was 67.3 per cent of the total budget. The zone office core budget allocated to the staffing and running costs in Kuala Lumpur amounted to CHF 2.74 million, while an additional CHF 1.61 million was allocated to support the four Asia Pacific regional offices and some country office costs.