In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
This two year reporting period has seen significant changes in the way that the Federation secretariat has organised its humanitarian assistance in the Asia Pacific region. Since July 2007 as part of a worldwide decentralisation process, it set up a Zone Office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia responsible for all programme management and coordination functions throughout the entire region that were previously carried out from its Geneva-based headquarters. This new Zone Office has been integrated into the already well-established Asia Pacific Service Centre (APSC) that has been providing important support functions to Federation regional and country offices for several years. Also created during this period was the new Asia Pacific Disaster Management Unit (APDMU) which is part of a small number of similar centres around the world intended to scale up the Federation's response to major disasters.
This 2006-2007 report focuses on the activities of the various APSC units over the past two years. Not included in this report is a description of the work of the Regional Logistics Unit, also based in the Zone Office in Kuala Lumpur, as this is covered in the Global Disaster report available separately.
Financial situation: Most of the costs of the APSC units and of the Zone Office are covered by the Federation's core budget. However some of the units, notably those covering organisational development and the APDMU sought voluntary funding from donors. The total 2006-2007 appeal budget for this work was CHF 2.78 million (USD 2.49 million or EUR 1.68 million), out of which 52% was
Our Partners: The Zone Office, together with the other Federation regional and country offices in the region, works closely with all the 37 Asia Pacific NSs, as well as all the partner national societies (PNSs) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) counterparts collaborating with these societies. Good working relations are also maintained with government ministries, UN agencies and other international and regional organisations working in the humanitarian field throughout the region
The Asia Pacific region has continued to be the most disaster-prone region in the world. In the two years from 2006 to 2007, the Federation responded to a total of 307 disasters, representing 36% of the total globally. In one month alone, in August 2007, there were 11 major emergency flood and/or cyclone relief operations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and Vietnam, all coordinated by the Asia Pacific Disaster Management Unit with the support of the Zone Office.
Politically, the region as a whole has been relatively stable. However, problems remain in a number of countries which have been experiencing internal conflicts for sometime such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Papua New Guinea, Security has become a more serious issue in some countries, notably Pakistan where the political situation has become more intense over the last two years. In these countries, security problems have made it difficult for the Federation to provide optimum support to the NSs to implement their programmes.
On the economic front, the region has seen continuing major strides being taken in several countries, notably China and India, although overall impressive growth rates and aggregated statistics hide the reality of widening wealth gaps and resulting increased vulnerability for millions trapped below the poverty line.
Within the Federation, the year 2007 marked the beginning of the restructuring at the Federation Secretariat in Geneva and the establishment of the zonal offices as part of the New Operating Model. In the Asia Pacific region, it meant the transitioning of the Asia Pacific Service Centre (APSC) in Kuala Lumpur to the new Federation Secretariat AP Zone Office. Whilst globally the transition period took longer than originally anticipated, the process went reasonably smoothly in the Asia Pacific zone thanks to the fact that several of the newly-created positions could be filled by the already existing incumbents in the APSC. The remaining posts were filled during the first quarter of 2008.
The first activities of the new Zone Office focussed on building an understanding amongst national societies of the aims and objectives of the Federation's New Operating Model and how these linked in to the implementation of Strategy 2010 and the Federation of the Future process. This was achieved through visits to meetings of secretaries generals organised for South East and South Asia, and at a three-day communications workshop organised in Kuala Lumpur for communicators (from 18 national societies) and 10 Federation delegation representatives.
For further information related to this Appeal, please contact:
- Alistair Henley, Head of Asia Pacific Zone, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, email: email@example.com; phone +60 3 2161 0892, fax + 60 3 2161 1210, mobile + 60 12 203 8254.
- Jagan Chapagain, Deputy Head of Zone, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone +60 3 2161 0892, fax + 60 3 2161 1210, mobile + 60 12 215 3765.