Bangladesh: Annual Appeal No. MAABD001 2008-2009 Programme Update

Situation Report
Originally published
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This report covers the period 01/01/2008 to 30/06/2008.

In brief

Programme purpose:

The four programme goals that reflect the four Global Agenda goals are:

1. The Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS) disaster management (DM) programme is capable of rendering effective services to reduce vulnerability in disaster-prone areas, thereby contributing to achieve the characteristics of a well functioning national society (Global Agenda goal 1).

2. Capacity of BDRCS health department and selected existing health programmes are supported to ensure more appropriate health services to the most vulnerable and contribute to reduce the burden of HIV through community based, integrated intervention (Global Agenda goal 2).

3. BDRCS capacity is improved at all levels in assisting the most vulnerable (Global Agenda goal 3).

4. A better understanding of humanitarian values is reflected in existing BDRCS programmes and projects and contributes to influencing behaviour of staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and other stakeholders (Global Agenda goal 4).

The International Federation will continue its' long-standing support to Bangladesh Red Crescent Societies (BDRCS), by advising and assisting the National Society in general operational and institutional management. It will also continue to attract and coordinate international support for BDRCS humanitarian operations and institutional development. Further support will be provided to develop national headquarters (NHQ) and branch capacity to manage, monitor, evaluate and report on programme development financial management.

Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes, tidal surges, tornadoes, floods, river bank erosions, droughts and cold waves. The extent of any natural disaster impact on the country is usually massive and often exceeds the capacity of local coping mechanisms.

The purpose of the disaster management (DM) programme is to reach out to the most vulnerable, alleviating human suffering resulting from natural catastrophes by capacity building through prevention, response and recovery with an emphasis on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and ultimately safer communities contributing to Global Agenda goal 1. With increasing poverty and disasters, the organizational development programme aims to build the capacity of National Society and supporting the local communities to become resilient to disasters and climate change (Global Agenda goal 3). Over the last 30 years, the country has generally improved its health indicators especially infant and maternal mortality rates. Bangladesh still faces a number of health problems due to widespread poverty, over-population and lack of access to basic health services.

The number of deaths, illnesses and the impact from diseases and public health emergencies are being addressed by the health programme through awareness building and implementation of the planned activities (Global Agenda goal 2). As part of Global Agenda goal 4 the humanitarian values programme is addressing various forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on gender and ethnicity that persist in the country by trying to reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion in its ongoing and future programmes. Details of how the four Global Agendas has been achieved are stated below under the four core programmes.

Programme summary:

Significant progress has been accomplished during the reporting period despite instability in the economy resulting in price hikes and the effects of two major disasters that struck in the country in 2007. BDRCS has focused on its priorities, utilising its comparative advantage in disaster preparedness and response, and prevention of epidemics.

BDRCS conducted the regular activities under the community-based disaster management (CBDM) programme, which contributed to prepare the community better respond to the potential disasters and to adopt with the climate change affects at community-level. Cyclone preparedness programme (CPP) disseminated the cyclone warning signals as the severe Cyclone "Nargis" was formed and Bangladesh was under potential threat. Trained and enthusiastic volunteers disseminated early warning messages, conducted preparation meetings for effective evacuation, provided First Aid, and participated in assessments, beneficiary selection and relief distribution processes. Relief activities were well planned, with the provision of food and non-food items.

Awareness raising was conducted on earthquake preparedness with the community and squad volunteers. Under the health programme, trained volunteers were engaged in anaemia awareness campaign implemented in northern and southern parts of Bangladesh. With anaemia being a growing problem among women in the community, the volunteers carried out door-to-door surveys and educated children and women on the causes and prevention of anaemia. Training volunteers and youth peer educators on HIV prevention, life skills and building awareness on Avian Influenza at the community-level by training key staff of BDRCS helped in carrying out the planned activities more efficiently. Under PLHIV1, an income generation project is being developed to provide livelihoods and food support to the most vulnerable.

In May 2008, the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day was celebrated. Dissemination of Fundamental Principles and humanitarian values (HV) via print and electronic media was done. In addition, rallies, discussion sessions, cultural and art competitions were conducted to commemorate the day.

From 20 till 22 May 2008, BDRCS along with the support of the International Federation initiated the Strategic Planning (SP) process for 2009-2011. The initial indications point toward a new focus on several key strategic directions from the existing 2004-2008 BDRCS SP, which are critical in strengthening the foundation of BDRCS and thus building the overall capacity and enhancing performance throughout the organization. Relevant personnel from BDRCS, the Federation country delegation, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and certain partner national societies (PNS) took part in the planning process.

Financial situation: The total 2008 budget is CHF 3,019,617 (USD 2.8 million or EUR 1.8 million), of which 36 percent covered. The overall expenditure against the budget for 2008 was 33 percent.

Number of people we help: During the reporting period, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society assisted 1,146,550 people under the four Global Agenda goals.

Our partners: BDRCS has around 40 partners comprising of community-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government bodies, UN agencies, and Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement partners. Main donors for 2008 so far include the Swedish Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Hong Kong branch of the Red Cross Society of China, SIDA2 through Swedish Red Cross and DFID3 through British Red Cross.