Belize + 7 more

Caribbean: Appeal No. 01.23/2002 Programme Update No. 3

Originally published
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 178 countries. For more information:
Appeal Target: CHF 3,322,922 (USD 2.1 million; EUR 2.3 million) Beneficiaries/target groups (if available):
Period covered: I July - 30 September 2002
Last Programme Update (no. 2) issued 19 August 2002


Appeal coverage: 90.3%
Related Appeals: 01.18/2002 Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU)
Outstanding needs: CHF 321,222

Summary: This year's hurricane season proved active with four tropical storms which developed into hurricanes. Hurricanes Isidore and Lili made landfall in the Caribbean, causing deaths and extensive damage in seven countries and affecting Cuba and Jamaica in particular. The implementation of the rehabilitation programme following the passage of hurricane Michelle in November 2001, continued in Cuba and repair of roofing for 600 houses carried out. Progress continued with the implementation of community level flood mitigation schemes in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Kitts and Nevis with funding from DIPECHO. For the first time, Caribbean National Societies celebrated first aid day and special features were posted on the regional Caribbean web site. Work in organisational development continued, particularly in the Cuban Red Cross and the Haitian National Red Cross Society, together with the Dominican Red Cross. In August, the regional delegation hosted a meeting of organisational development delegates in the Americas focusing on the development and implementation of cooperation agreement strategies. In addition, a meeting was held to monitor progress as regards he regional cooperation agreement strategy adopted at the sixth Caribbean Red Cross biennial meeting in June 2001. Over the third quarter, the delegation moved ahead with the establishment and strengthening of a sub regional office in the eastern Caribbean and a gradual reduction in size of the Santo Domingo regional delegation in view of the new structure of Federation Secretariat support for the Caribbean as of late 2002.

Operational Developments

The three months covered by this report mark the height of Atlantic hurricane season, and proved to be an extremely active period, with twelve named tropical storms - from Arthur to Lili - making their appearance. Four of these - Gustav, Isidore, Kyle, and Lili - developed into hurricanes, and of these, two - Isidore and Lili - touched land in the Caribbean and caused deaths and extensive damage in seven countries, the worst affected being Cuba and Jamaica. In coordination with the relevant National Societies, the Red Cross in the region responded to these disasters with assistance from the Federation regional delegation in Santo Domingo and the Pan American Disaster Response Unit based in Panama.

Apart from the impact of these storms and hurricanes, the region continued to feel the after effects of the terrorist attacks of September 2001 in the United States. Tourism, a key sector in the region, remained at a significantly lower level compared to the previous year. The UNDP Human Development Index published at the end of July, showed that, according to basic socioeconomic indicators such as life expectancy, adult literacy, and per capita income, most Caribbean countries were slipping back from the gains achieved in the 1990s - the only exception being the Bahamas. Countries such as Belize, Suriname, Jamaica, Guyana and the Dominican Republic each dropped several ratings in the ranking of 173 nations.

Disaster Response

During the reporting period, two National Societies, those of Belize and Jamaica, terminated relief and rehabilitation operations related to two hurricanes which occurred in the third quarter of 2001 - hurricanes Iris and Michelle respectively - and the regional delegation completed reporting to donors on these programmes. A third programme, in Cuba and related to the hurricane Michelle disaster of November 2001, continued. The regional delegation procured replacement first aid kits and search and rescue equipment for four branches of the Cuban Red Cross (CRC), while the latter carried out the implementation of a rehabilitation programme involving over 600 houses in three provinces, utilizing 28,000 zinc roofing sheets procured via the regional logistics unit (RLU) of PADRU. Implementation of this programme was delayed by the impact of hurricanes Isidore and Lili (see below), but was completed at the end of October 2002.

Two major hurricanes impacted the Caribbean during the quarter - Isidore and Lili. Isidore crossed from the Atlantic into the southeastern Caribbean on 15 September and continued on a course towards the northwest, affecting Haiti, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cuba. As Isidore was moving inland over the southern US states and dissipating, Lili, a stronger hurricane which at one stage reached Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, was entering the Caribbean and following almost precisely the same track as Isidore. During the passage of the two hurricanes, the regional delegation was in close contact with the National Societies and overseas branches in the states and territories affected. In all cases, the local Red Cross was able to cope with the response required. Hurricane Lili passed over southwest Cuba on 1 October, damaging close to 50,000 houses, and causing the evacuation of 280,000 people. The regional delegation had already sent its regional disaster response delegate to Cuba shortly after the passage of Isidore, and two other delegates, one from the regional delegation and one from PADRU, flew into Cuba on 3 October to help the Cuban Red Cross deal with the aftermath of two hurricanes in ten days.

Disaster Preparedness

Objective 1: By mid-2002, to develop a fifteen-person regional intervention team (RIT) capable of responding to disasters throughout the Caribbean, and to sustain a regional disaster management training module at a Caribbean academic institution.

Following the successful RIT training workshop organized by the regional delegation and PADRU in Antigua and Barbuda in May 2002, which introduced 26 regional participants to RITs procedures and methodologies, a follow-up refresher course took place in Panama in July 2002. The regional delegation facilitated the attendance at this course of six staff members from Caribbean National Societies and overseas branches, who had already received the basic RIT training during the earlier course. In September, two delegates from the regional delegation, and eight representatives of Caribbean National Societies attended the first Field Coordination and Assessment (FACT) workshop to be held in the Americas, run by PADRU in Panama.

Objective 2: Throughout the period covered by this appeal, to enhance the response capacity of National Societies and overseas branches through the provision and secure stockage of basic relief items and equipment.

In July 2002 the donor for this programme, the Japanese Red Cross Society, released funds for its implementation, and the regional delegation immediately activated procurement orders which it had previously placed with the regional logistics unit. In September a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Cuban Red Cross governing the programme's implementation in that country, and late in the month the two containers of relief goods destined for installation in the Cuban provinces of Villa Clara and Higuey arrived in the country. Signing of a similar MoU with the Haitian National Red Cross Society (HNRCS) and delivery of two containers to Haiti is due to occur later in the year.

Objective 3: By the end of 2002, to have maintained support for community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) activities in at least six countries, including Cuba and Haiti; by the same period, to have assisted four National Societies to develop and implement cost-effective, community-level disaster mitigation projects.

The reporting period saw progress in implementing community-level flood-mitigation schemes in four Caribbean countries - the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St.Kitts and Nevis - facilitated by the regional delegation with funding from DIPECHO. In St. Kitts, the programme was formally launched and construction of a plant nursery and planting of seedlings begun. In Grenada, one micro-project on the main island was moved closer to completion, and preparatory work for a second one on the smaller island of Cariacou carried to an advanced stage. In the Dominican Republic the regional delegation received a request from the National Society to substitute the five micro-projects originally foreseen for three drainage-repair projects in Santo Domingo, San Cristobal, and Monte Cristi. This change of emphasis was successfully negotiated with the donor during August, and work on all three projects began in September. In Jamaica, work on a flood mitigation project in Yallas was begun, but delayed by the impact of hurricanes Isidore and Lili, which caused extensive damage and flooding on the island in late September; St. Thomas, the district in which the project is located, was particularly badly affected. In spite of these setbacks, by the end of the third quarter the overall programme was progressing well, and, with the exception of Jamaica, all National Societies have pledged to complete work by the end of 2002. An interim report to DIPECHO was submitted by the regional delegation in August, and a possible request for a two-month extension, up to the end of February 2003, to allow the Jamaican Red Cross to complete its work is being considered.

During the quarter, the Cuban Red Cross received first aid and search and rescue equipment under the hurricane Michelle programme, designed to strengthen community-level response capacities. The regional delegation provided the Haitian National Red Cross Society with equipment for a new radio network connecting its branches; the equipment was delivered in August and installation is pending.

Humanitarian Values

Objective 1: By mid-2002, to revitalize region-wide communications tools, and to utilize them to raise the profile of the Red Cross Movement in the Caribbean, and to promote basic humanitarian values and the Fundamental Principles of the Movement, with active input from National Societies and overseas branches.

During the reporting period, the new Caribbean Red Cross web site, which had been launched in May 2002, was maintained, with inputs from National Societies and overseas branches in the region, and with the technical assistance of the regional delegation in Guatemala. In all, 18 stories were posted on the web site during the period of July to September 2002, covering activities throughout the region. Special features on the Atlantic hurricane season, and the Federation's worldwide campaign relating to first aid were also featured, and the web site itself expanded with additional pages on volunteering and linkages. During the same period, three news stories from the Caribbean region were featured on the Federation's global web site.

Between the beginning of July and the end of September, the regional delegation produced four electronic news updates, which were sent by e-mail to all National Societies in the region, overseas branches, PNSs and partner organizations, with information on the latest developments in regional programmes.

Objective 2: By the end of 2002, to ensure the utilization by the Red Cross in the Caribbean of standardized basic materials on the Fundamental Principles and basic humanitarian values, and to facilitate the propagation region-wide of a common Movement message.

Standardized materials on the Fundamental Principles were provided to Caribbean National Societies and overseas branches on request, for use in dissemination activities. Technical advice was also provided in this respect. In July, planning meetings were held in Santo Domingo and Port of Spain between regional delegates and the staff and delegates of the two ICRC regional delegations covering the Caribbean based in Caracas and Mexico City, to ensure harmonization of initiatives in the fields of communication and dissemination. As a step in this direction, planning was begun for a joint Federation/ICRC workshop for English speaking National Societies on dissemination and communication, in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2002.

Objective 3: By the end of 2002, to ensure that all Red Cross entities in the region are aware of the Federation's commitment to advocacy on behalf of vulnerable groups, and are capable of incorporating such activities in their ongoing plans and programmes.

For the first time, Caribbean National Societies joined sister National Societies in celebrating First Aid Day, for which this year's theme was "It's easy to save lives" (if first aid skills are developed and applied at community level). Events organized in the region helped raise first aid awareness and promoted the importance of protecting and saving lives. The regional information and reporting delegate also organized a training session on Red Cross / Red Crescent Principles and history for the staff of the regional delegation.

Objective 4: By the end of 2003, to have provided training, technical advice, and other inputs to at least four National Societies in the region with a view to creating or enhancing sustainable and well-functioning specialized information or communication departments in these National Societies.

The regional information and reporting delegate drafted a communications plan as part of the DIPECHO 3 programme, to help the four National Societies involved in the programme raise their profile and that of their donors at national and local level. The delegate also provided technical support on information issues at the regional FACT training event in Panama, where four Caribbean National Societies were present.

Health and Care

Objective 1: Throughout the two-year period covered by the present appeal to develop and enhance Red Cross involvement in activities related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the realms of prevention, care and support, and advocacy.

There was limited progress towards this objective during the reporting period, due largely to the absence of a regional health delegate (see objective 3 below). However, the regional delegation was able to facilitate the attendance of Caribbean representatives at a meeting in Panama in late September 2002 designed to prepare an overall health strategy for the Americas for discussion at the XVII Inter American Conference scheduled for April 2003. Representatives of the National Societies of Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Haiti took part in the meeting, and the Haitian National Red Cross Society was given the responsibility of working with the Federation to produce a draft of the part of the health strategy addressing HIV/AIDS. The regional delegation assisted several National Societies - specifically those of Belize, Cuba, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago in potential approaches to the Global Fund on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (GFATM)

Objective 2: To integrate five additional National Societies, including British and Netherlands Red Cross overseas branches into the Caribbean Red Cross AIDS Network (CARAN), and increase cooperation between the Red Cross and other major organizations within the region, thereby strengthening the overall capacity of the network.

The regional delegation liaised closely with the Netherlands Red Cross and the American Red Cross in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and actively pursued the recruitment of an HIV/AIDS regional officer to be based at the Federation's new sub-regional office in Trinidad and Tobago. A wide spectrum of applicants expressed interest in the position, one of whose main tasks will be to provide support for CARAN. Appointment to the position took place in early October. In the meantime, the regional delegation committed the Federation to participation in the CARICOM Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP), with a view to the involvement of CARAN in this important initiative; CARICOM had earlier in the year achieved an agreement with six leading pharmaceutical firms to provide HIV/AIDS medication at discounts of from 70% to 90% of the previous cost.

Objective 3: To increase the capacity of the regional delegation and National Societies, at the regional and country levels, to implement community-based First Aid (CBFA) and water and sanitation activities in target countries and in line with Strategy 2010.

Little funding was available for this objective during the reporting period, and the absence of a regional health delegate in the period from the end of June until late August inhibited further progress in this area.

Organizational Development

Objective 1: By the end of 2003, 10 among 16 National Societies and 4 overseas branches will develop and implement quality programmes and projects according to their National Development Plan.

In the Dominican Republic, implementation of the NDP for 2001 to 2005 by the National Society is ongoing. Institutional reorganization is taking place, and a new organigram with appropriate job descriptions developed, with technical advice from the Santo Domingo-based regional organisational development delegate. Discussions continued with the Cuban Red Cross (see objective 5, below) regarding further refinement of the NDP adopted earlier in the year, and the possible initiation of the Cooperation Agreement Strategy (CAS) process. Similarly, in Haiti, the National Society was assisted by the Port-au-Prince-based Federation organisational development delegate to move towards NDP development (see objective 6, below).

As a preliminary to the NDP process, several National Societies in the Caribbean are undertaking the National Society self assessment exercise. During the reporting period, the National Societies of Barbados, Grenada, Guyana and Suriname completed the initial self assessment questionnaire with assistance from the regional delegation, and the results were fed back to the Federation Secretariat. Follow-up questions in response to the completed questionnaire were submitted by the regional delegation to the Belize Red Cross Society. The Haitian National Red Cross Society is currently involved in the self assessment process.

During the reporting period, the regional delegation secured support from the Federation's Capacity Building Fund (CBF) for organisational development activities in the English-speaking Caribbean, part of which will be used to fund a strategic planning workshop to be held in Trinidad later in 2002. Also during the period, the regional delegation's regional branch development and organisational development delegate visited the British Red Cross overseas branches in the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands to discuss governance and planning issues.

Objective 2: Before the end of 2003, to contribute to the maintenance of the integrity and smooth-functioning of the Caribbean National Societies by increasing the level of knowledge of at least 30% of the governing board members of each National Society about the Movement as a whole and their own specific responsibilities.

In the Dominican Republic, the regional organisational development delegate participated in meetings of the National Society's electoral commission, responsible for preparing elections in the National Society, which have been under the management of an interim commission since 2000. Several meetings of the commission took place to verify the credentials of already-existing branches of the National Society, and work continues in vetting additional branches which have applied for membership. The entire process must be completed well before the next elections, scheduled for August 2003. The regional delegation is assisting in the compilation of an electoral guide for the branches, including documentation drawn both from National Society Statutes and rules, and from Federation policy. In July, a joint Federation/ICRC two-day workshop on governance and doctrine was held for the leadership of eight branches of the Dominican Red Cross. Representatives of the Haitian National Red Cross Society also attended.

In late September, the regional delegation participated in a joint ICRC/Federation training session on governance issues for members of the Haitian National Red Cross Society's central committee. Similar training for branch leaders will be organized later in 2002.

Objective 3: To revitalize and build the sustainable capacity of the youth departments of nine National Societies and of three British Red Cross overseas branches by the end of 2003.

Three British Red Cross branches - Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI)

- have secured funding to continue youth programmes, mainly by introducing peer education activities on the islands. In August BVI peer educators took part in a youth exchange visit to the Guyana Red Cross.

Objective 4: To promote, by the end of 2003, the capacity of selected National Societies to raise funds at the national level.

The Santo Domingo-based regional organisational development delegate continued to participate in the elaboration of the curriculum and training materials for a training centre planned by the Dominican Red Cross. The aim of the centre is to provide quality professional skills training in various areas and to raise funds for the National Society. The regional delegation facilitated the obtaining of manuals and training centre procedures from the Ecuadorian Red Cross, to serve as a model for the Dominican Red Cross initiative.

In August, a meeting of the regional delegation with executive members of the Caribbean Cooperation of the Red Cross (CCORC) agreed that the latter would collaborate with the Federation in the launching, later in the year, of the pilot phase of an innovative fundraising initiative focused on the tourism sector and designed to provide income generation opportunities for National Societies.

Objective 5: To reinforce, by the end of 2003, the capacity of the Cuban Red Cross provincial and municipal branches to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Cuba, and to enhance the Cuban Red Cross's public image as an independent institution.

The 2002 phase of the branch development programme for the Cuban Red Cross, funded through the Federation's Capacity Building Fund (CBF) was 70% complete by the end of September. Twenty-three CRC branches in six provinces received specific assistance in maintenance and refurbishment of their offices and compounds. Ten branches and the CRC headquarters received computer equipment and office material. In spite of the preoccupation of the CRC with managing the response to hurricanes Isidore and Lili, planning continued for three workshops to be held during the last quarter of 2002, on governance and leadership issues, project planning and communications. In addition, discussions were continued regarding the need to develop a Cooperation Agreement Strategy (CAS) on the basis of the NDP adopted by the CRC earlier in the year.

Objective 6: To strengthen the capacity of the Haitian National Red Cross Society to assist the vulnerable in Haiti.

During July the Federation and the ICRC held a joint planning exercise on programmes in the country for 2003. The Federation will continue to focus on areas prioritized in the Capacity-Building Fund proposal which was successfully submitted to the Secretariat earlier in the year - the strengthening of the National Society at local level, a campaign for the promotion of Humanitarian Values, and recruitment and retention of volunteers. Meetings were held during the same month with PNS active in Haiti to consolidate plans for 2003, in line with the NDP being prepared by the National Society with Federation assistance. Statutory issues are also being discussed by the Federation and the ICRC with the National Society leadership.

A memorandum of understanding was signed with the Haitian National Red Cross Society in August 2002, concerning the implementation of branch development and other activities utilizing CBF funds. A national workshop for first aid trainers was held in September, as well as a two-day leadership workshop in conjunction with the ICRC.

During the reporting period, the HNRCS received the delivery from the Federation of a radio network for its headquarters and branches. In addition, two containers of relief goods, funded by the Japanese Red Cross Society, procured by the Federation and destined for deployment to remote provincial locations, arrived in Haiti in early October 2002.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement -- Fundamental Principles and Initiatives

Standardized material on the Fundamental Principles was provided to Caribbean National Societies and overseas branches for use in dissemination activities.

First Aid Day was celebrated for the first time in the Caribbean and used to raise awareness of Red Cross / Red Crescent principles.

Regional Cooperation

Objective 1: To maintain the momentum established by the process of Regional Assistance Strategy (RAS) development during 2001, and to ensure that all Movement stakeholders in the region are involved in the review and further refinement of Federation strategies.

In August, the regional delegation hosted a meeting in Santo Domingo of all Federation delegates in the Americas region involved in organisational development work, and, more specifically, the development of Cooperation Agreement Strategies; the meeting reviewed the implementation of the CAS process in the region, and in particular the progress which has been made in Cuba and Haiti. Also in August, the regional delegation and the Dominican Red Cross co-hosted the first meeting in 2002 of the regional delegation/CCORC/ICRC working group designed to monitor the implementation of the Regional Cooperation Agreement Strategy (RCAS) adopted at the Sixth Caribbean Red Cross Biennial Meeting (CRCBM) in June 2001. The working group received a detailed report from the regional delegation on the implementation of the RCAS to date, as well as plans for incorporating RCAS priorities in the Federation's appeal for 2003-2004.

Objective 2: By the end of 2002, to have achieved a perceptible strengthening of the CCORC, to permit it to play a more proactive role in fostering regional cooperation among the various elements of the Movement.

The regional delegation brought together three members of the CCORC executive in Santo Domingo in mid August, to resolve several issues which had been outstanding since the previous CCORC meeting in Geneva in November 2001. With the strengthening of the Federation's sub regional office in Trinidad and Tobago during the reporting period, the regional delegation is now in a much better position to liaise closely with the CCORC. The RD facilitated the attendance of the CCORC chairman at a regional meeting in Panama in late September 2002 to prepare overall health strategies for the Americas in the run-up to the planned Inter-American Conference in Santiago de Chile in April 2003.

Objective 3: Throughout the period to the end of 2003, to further promote the integration of Red Cross overseas branches (OSBs) in the Caribbean into regional consultative mechanisms and programmes.

The regional disaster preparedness delegate from the regional delegation visited the British Red Cross overseas branch in Anguilla in July to conduct a disaster preparedness workshop; along with the overseas branch of the British Virgin Islands, the branch is receiving assistance to formulate a proposal to donors for a community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) programme. The regional delegation's organisational development delegate visited the British Red Cross branches in the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands in August, accompanied by a senior member of staff of the British Red Cross, to discuss governance issues. The Cayman Islands overseas branch was contacted by the regional delegation during the passages of hurricanes Isidore and Lili near the island group, but no assistance from the delegation was needed.

Objective 4: By the end of 2002, to have revitalized the programme for the regional recruitment of delegates; by the end of 2003, to have identified and trained up to ten delegates from the region for deployment in Federation missions, in the region and elsewhere.

Funding constraints prevented progress in relation to this objective during the reporting period. It is now anticipated that the proposed regional Basic Training Course (BTC) will be held in the first half of 2003 (funding permitting), probably in Trinidad and Tobago. Regional delegates visited a potential site for the BTC near Port of Spain in July, to assess its suitability and refine budget predictions.

Coordination and Management

Objective 1: By mid-2002, to ensure that the RAS process is established as the guiding p