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West Africa Appeal No. 01.01/2002 Programme Update No. 3

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Appeal Target: CHF 7,342,916; budget revised to CHF 3,354,107
Period covered: September - December, 2002
"At a Glance"

Appeal coverage: 77.1%
Related Appeals: 34/02 - Burkina, Mali, and Niger: Population Movements

Outstanding needs: Due in large measure to a significant budget reduction this appeal was reasonably well covered in 2002. Donors are encouraged to focus their support on the Federations 2003 Annual Appeals for this region.

Operational Developments

The West Africa region continued to experience turmoil throughout the reporting period. Fighting between Liberian rebels and pro-government forces was reported in northern Liberia early in the quarter. Violation of human rights was recorded in form of arrests of activists and supporters of human rights defenders.

In Cote d'Ivoire, a conflict started by an army rebellion which began on 19 September 2002 has now entered its fourth month. About 2500 French soldiers are serving as buffer forces in the northern and western part of the country, AFP said. ECOMOG soldiers were promised by ECOWAS before the end of the year but this has not yet materialized. Thousands of lives have been lost in the conflict, the latest being a mass grave of 120 people discovered in a town 60 kilometres SW of Vavoua, about 300 km NW of Abidjan, and another mass grave in Bouake, central Cote d'Ivoire, AFP said. Both the government soldiers and dissidents have been accused of human right abuses.

Country in the Mano River Union have been affected by the fighting in the Western part of the country. This has led to the loss of many lives and over 30,000 people pouring into neighbouring Liberia and Guinea, UNHCR said. Among these people are Malians, Liberians and Guineans. The report said thousands of Ivorians have fled into neighbouring Niger, Mali. Burkina Faso has so far repatriated 30,000 of its nationals. Niger has repatriated over 2,000 while Mali has repatriated over 10,000 people. Hundreds of other foreign nationals have also fled the country. The Federation launched an appeal to assist returnees and refugees in the Mano River Union.

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Objective 1: Support West African National Societies of one sub region to improve their disaster management capacities so that they may then train the other National Societies of the Region.

Within the framework of building the capacity of the national societies, the Secretary General of Côte d'Ivoire Red Cross and the Guinea Red Cross DP Officer attended the Reach-out conference in Nice, France from 16-20 September.

Benin Red Cross prepared a strategy for revising their national emergency plan in collaboration with the government while Nigeria Red Cross is currently drafting a national disaster Management Response Plan. An Emergency Appeal was launched for Mauritania Red Cross to enable it assist drought victims in the entire country. The sum of CHF 61,000 was approved for its food security project. Furthermore, Regional DP facilitated the approval of CHF 10,000 DREF and a further 30,000 for the Côte d'Ivoire Red Cross to distribute blankets and mats to displaced people in the current conflict. CIRC capacity was further supported through fuel, repair of vehicles, first aid kits and telecommunication equipment which was useful in providing home care and psychological support to Bouake residents, evacuate the wounded to hospitals and assist the Bouake Blood Transfusion centre in blood collection, in collaboration with the ICRC.

A DREF of CHF 10,000 was approved for the Gambian and Senegalese Red Cross, for an emergency assistance to victims of the Ferry accident in September. Both national societies provided psychological and logistical assistance to the families of the victims. Please refer to an Information bulletin on the same.

A Regional Disaster Response Team conducted an assessment mission to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from October 31 to 8 November to evaluate the situation of returnees and refugees from Cote d'Ivoire to the above-mentioned countries. This mission is being supported with a DREF allocation of CHF 50,000. An Emergency Appeal was prepared and is posted on the web.

Regional DP delegate had an evaluation mission to Mauritania to evaluate the famine situation and find out how the Mauritanian Red Crescent is facing the challenge.

Objective 2: Give sufficient organisational reform in the LNRCS, support to develop their engagement in small-scale food security projects enabling branch development.

Regional DP delegate participated in a ToT workshop on Disaster Management in LNRCS organised by ICRC in collaboration with the Federation. A food security project will be launched by the LNRCS, with technical assistance from the Federation technical consultant.

With support from the Federation and funding from DFID, LNRCS has initiated project activities in eight districts within four counties: Bong, Margibi, Bassa and Rivercess. The project aims at assisting 1,000 beneficiaries in Margibi, Grand Bassa and Rivercess counties in small scale farming activities to produce complementary food commodities for their dietary needs and possibly for future farming activities. Project staff has been recruited and a field trip was carried out 9-18 October to mobilize stakeholders and prepare for the selection of beneficiaries.

Two districts in Bong county included in the original plan were excluded from the plan of action on ICRC request. A second field trip was carried out end of November to set up a management team comprising of community members, the LRRRC, local Red Cross staff and the beneficiaries. A narrative and financial project report covering the months of October and November has been prepared.

Objective 3: Support West African National Societies of one sub-region to improve their Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) capacity so that they may train other national societies in the region.

Discussions are ongoing for the realization of VCA in Guinea Conakry. Regional delegation awaits their propositions on the possible dates.

A regional workshop organized by the OD delegate was held in Lome during which VCA was discussed as a prerequisite for developing the strategic development plan for the national societies.

Objective 4: Support development of Regional Response Teams (RRTs) for intervention when a West African national society's capacity is exceeded on the basis of an agreed terms of reference.

The DP Programme Officer and the Telecom Officer from the Abidjan delegation participated in a training (Disaster Management) with the Disaster Response Team of Central Africa from 14 to 22 October in Kribi, Cameroon. A similar workshop is planned in West Africa at the beginning of 2003 to train a similar team for the West Africa region.

Other activities

Regional DP participated in a planning meeting for the Consolidated Appeal of the United Nations for the Mano River region from 9-11 September 2002 together with OCHA and other partners with the objective of drafting a plan of action to be used in the Centre d'Acceuil in Western Côte d'Ivoire. Regional DP also took part in Inter Agency meetings on the Côte d'Ivoire crisis situation.

Health and Care

Primary Health Care

Objective 1: Support West African National Societies of one sub-region to improve their ARCHI 2010 capacities by developing, strengthening and improving volunteer networks, community capacity and preparedness, so that they may then train the other national societies of the region.

Togo (ARCHI 2010)

Malaria

Security health agents organized hygiene and health activities as well as surveillance of cholera and malaria patients within their community. The sensitization activity of 77 community health agents on malaria and the use of impregnated mosquito nets increased the demand of nets in the community. Public health activities involved the entire Zio, Golf, Vo and Lacs communities. The capacity of the NS in providing health services to the communities was strengthened as they worked with community leaders who were first sensitized on the role of the Red Cross and its basic principles. The participation of the community, RC volunteers, local NGOs and community leaders in information dissemination and resource mobilization was very effective. However, the work of the local committees, from planning to implementation of activities in the field, is an area that need to be strengthened.

Water and sanitation

Within the framework of providing sanitation support to communities, the construction of community latrine blocks in Kpalime and five family latrines planned for Ayagba, Tsafe-Honoe and Kodgo-Aza are at an advanced stage and will soon be handed over to the communities.

The final report was finalized and sent to the donor in October. The evaluation of the one-year project is planned for January to measure the impact of the project on the capacity of the national society to ensure the durability of the ARCHI project. The evaluation team will comprise of a resource person from the Senegalese Red Cross and someone from the regional delegation.

Ghana

An agreement has been signed between the Ghana Red Cross and UNICEF to facilitate the transfer of approximately CHF 22,350 granted to the GhRC by the Measles Partnership Fund which is sent through UNICEF, for implementing its social mobilization activities. Ghana Red Cross is quite advanced in the preparatory phase of the measles activities. The campaign preparations have taken off in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other partners. The campaign took place on 9-15 December and was attended by observers from American Red Cross and the Federation.

Benin (Measles)

A total of approximately CHF 67,950 allocated to Benin Red Cross will be soon be released for the measles campaign planned for 11-18 January. Awareness creation sessions and social mobilization in the four departments of Atlantic littoral, Bourgou alibori, Mono couffo and Oume Plateau are ongoing. The number of children to be reached in this campaign is 698,811. Benin Red Cross will use 1,116 volunteers for its social mobilization activities at the community level.

Niger (polio)

The Niger Red Cross participated in the polio national vaccination day in October and November. Niger Red Cross participated in NID in October and November in collaboration with other partners such as MSF, UNICEF, WHO. Funding of CHF 41,000 was provided by the Federation to support the NS in the implementation of its polio social mobilization activities. A total of 8,132 children were vaccinated at the Madoua and Savongida health centres About 907 households made up of at least three families of ten members were visited in Madoua while 187 homes with 1,430 under-fives were visited in Savonganda.

Regional health meeting

The Sahel regional health and HIV/AIDS meeting was held from 18-20 November in Dakar. Among the themes discussed on the implementation of ARCHI 2010 are resource mobilization, strengthening of partnerships, the Red Cross contribution in the EPI, project planning, follow-up and evaluation of health activities. The approach was participative as a lot of discussion was held on lessons learned. The health meeting gave rise to many recommendations made by the participants:

Recommendation to the Regional Delegation

  • Organize training for the NS executives
  • Increase field visits to the countries in order to help the NS to improve their corporate image before the partners.
  • Play the role of facilitator between the NS and the partners to access the Global Fund.
Recommendation to the National Societies
  • Involve all parties concerned in the project from its conception to evaluation in conformity with the recommendations of the ARCHI process.
  • Ensure that competence and professionalism be the guiding factors for choosing NS representatives.
  • Take an active approach towards the government and partners in view of strengthening partnerships at the local level.
  • Solicit the government so that the NS becomes a member of the coordination mechanism of the country for the Global fund.
Recommendation to the regional group

Draw some lessons from past experiences of the sub-regional groups during the formulation of the regional groups.

Objective 2: Enable, encourage and support national societies in the region to target vulnerable communities and provide them with the means of improving their health and life through the establishment of new or improved water and sanitation activities.

This project was not focussed on this month.

Objective 3: Promote regional standards in training and best practices for First Aid. This will be aligned with the Global First Aid.

This project was closed due to lack of funding.

HIV/AIDS

Objective 1: Improve knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease infection and prevention while promoting responsible sexual behaviour.

Liberia

In Liberia, the LNRCS scaled up its HIV/AIDS activities by concentrating on one chapter (Grand Bassa county) to increase the impact of concerted efforts. The project is included in Appeal 2003, but thanks to immediate support from Swedish and British Red Cross Societies, the project has got an early start. Thus, in late September, the Project Coordinator visited all five districts in Bassa, meeting with chapter officials, volunteers and local authorities. The objectives of the project were discussed, roles and responsibilities of the chapter and the Headquarters agreed upon and some 125 volunteers and students were selected from the chapters and communities.

In Buchanan, the Liberian Red Cross day launched a six months' intensive HIV/AIDS prevention and education campaign on World AIDS Day. Hundreds of volunteers and community youth marched down the city's main street, making sure that "the truth about AIDS is known, and passed on". More than 100 youth are being prepared to reach out to 20,000 schoolchildren and students in the county's five districts. Activities include community campaigns with awareness sessions in towns and villages, drama and dance performances, pop music and church choirs as well as distribution of condoms and IEC materials. Three new posters have been produced together with a "What is AIDS" pamphlet.

The Mayor, local NGOs and representatives from the community all committed themselves to support the campaign and extend their assistance to the project staff. A training workshop followed the launching.

A baseline study on knowledge, attitude, beliefs and practices (KABP) of adolescents in the county has been carried out with the assistance of NACP, the government's AIDS authority, to determine the best approach of enhancing the outcome of the prevention and awareness campaign.

Objective 2: Increase safe blood transfusion and strengthen blood donation services by increasing the number of non-remunerated blood donors and the quantity of safe blood.

This objective was not focussed on this month.

Objective 3: To increase care and support for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their families.

This objective was not focussed on this month.

Objective 4: Strengthen the capacity of the Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies in implementing their HIV/AIDS country plans through targeted support.

Regional HIV/AIDS Coordinator assisted selected National Societies in elaborating plans of action for the 2003/2004 appeal. The National Societies selected for HIV/AIDS activities in the appeal include: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Togo.

Ten participants from the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Cape Verde, and Mauritania Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies attended the sub-regional health and HIV/AIDS meeting for the Dakar group on 18-20 November, 2002 Three members of the Regional Health, Regional Reporting Officer, as well as partners such as UNAIDS and local associations and networks of Persons Living With HIV/AIDS were among the group. Topics discussed include regional and global HIV/AIDS programme for the federation, home-based care strategy, global campaign against HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, the UNAIDS regional study on HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination and the RANY-WA (Regional AIDS Network for Youth, West Africa).

Recommendations include:

1. The Regional Delegation should facilitate training of health and/or HIV/AIDS Co-ordinators on counselling and community management of PLWHA.

2. National Societies need to be more proactive in approaching partners and networks of PLWHA in order to involve volunteers in home based care of PLWHA at the community level.

3. Governance should reflect on the relevance of RANY-WA and need to review the Terms of Reference.

4. National Societies need to be more proactive in mobilizing resources at the national level, as well as becoming members of the Country Co-ordinating Mechanisms (CCM) for the Global Fund.

Country plans

Côte d'Ivoire

The project memorandum for Phase II activities has been sent to the National Society for signing and money for the activities have been released.

Regional HIV/AIDS Coordinator met with the Health Coordinator of Côte d'Ivoire Red Cross, the interim HIV/AIDS Coordinator, as well as the former HIV/AIDS Coordinator, to discuss current HIV/AIDS activities, priorities, as well as the role of the Cote d'Ivoire Red Cross in the Crisis Committee set up to tackle HIV/AIDS. The major issues that were discussed include:

  • Reporting expectations from field activities to the National Society Health Coordinator.

  • Funds to all four local committees for purchasing fuel for activities.

  • Advance money to local committees provided for evaluation activities to be used to cover allowances until money for the Phase II activities has been transferred.

  • The Côte d'Ivoire Red Cross is part of the AIDS Crisis Committee set up by the National AIDS Control Programme in conjunction with the UNAIDS Country office. Five theme groups have been set up, namely: Coordination, Condom distribution, Drugs, Safety Blood transfusion, and NGOs. The Côte d'Ivoire Red Cross is part of the Coordination as well as NGO group, and will be assisting with coordination of all HIV/AIDS prevention activities, including use of peer educators to conduct sensitization activities. The Côte d'Ivoire Red Cross will also be part of an evaluation mission to assess the situation and needs in rebel held zones (Bouaké, Korhogo, Daloa), relative to HIV/AIDS.
  • The French Red Cross HIV/AIDS activity is being delayed due to the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire.
Togo

In addition to World AIDS Day 2002 activities, other activities included:

  • Sensitization vis a vis blood donation in Adidogomé, Sanguéra, and Hahotoé, as well as formation of blood donor clubs in Hahotoé. Over 35 volunteers were involved in this campaign.

  • Participation of five HIV/AIDS peer educator coaches/trainers of the Togolese Red Cross in a national forum of youth trainers on the fight against HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies among youth. This was organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with UNFPA and UNAIDS.

  • Training of 62 intermediary level local coaches in the planning, follow-up and monitoring of health projects including HIV/AIDS in the Kara region.

  • Home-based visits to People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) by members of the AIDS committee of the Togolese Red Cross, the Medical Assistant of the Togolese Red Cross clinic, as well as members of the various religious groups. The overall aim was to reinforce the Red Cross' support towards PLWHA, in line with the global campaign against HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination as well as the distribution of home-based care kits financed by UNDP.

  • Training and sensitization of Togolese Red Cross personnel on HIV/AIDS (42 participants).

  • Home based care visits and follow-up of PLWHA (14 women were visited, with four being referred to hospitals for care and treatment).

  • Training of 22 psycho-social counsellors for home-based visits to PLWHA.

  • Monitoring of project activities by the National HIV/AIDS Coordinator and a member of the AIDS Committee to Maritime (Aného, Tsévoé, Vogan, Avé, Zio, and Lomé districts) and Kara (Bassar, Kozah and Binah districts) regions respectively.

  • Training of 81 local coaches on planning and monitoring of project activities.

  • Renewed contract between the Togolese Red Cross and PSI-Togo regarding HIV/AIDS prevention among youth through a youth friendly clinic, 'Clinique Amie des Jeunes'.
Some of the difficulties encountered include the inexistence of VCT centres in the project zones, making it difficult to motivate volunteers conducting sensitization activities, difficulty of social marketing due to free distribution of condoms by certain organizations as well as delay in funds transfer. Furthermore, Phase II memorandum for continuation of HIV/AIDS activities has been signed between the Regional Delegation and the Togolese Red Cross, and an initial amount of 15,000 CHF has been transferred to the Togolese Red Cross, out of a total of 50,000 CHF allocated to them.

Ghana

Cape Coast and Awutu/Efutu/Senya Districts

  • A total of 276 youth between the ages of 14-25 years were reached in organized educational sessions in the two districts, while 45 young people were reached outside regular educational sessions.

  • Only one Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) referral was made during September.

  • The number of Peer Educators in the two districts remains at 39.

  • A new HIV/AIDS Project Officer was appointed to co-ordinate the project in the region, as the former Project Officer resigned in August.

  • Difficulties encountered include increasing demand for female condoms; high defaulting rates of participation of some group members registered to go through the four weekly educational sensitization sessions, forcing the peer educators to increase their group visits to more than six times in some cases, before completing the programme.
Ketu District
  • A total of 192 youth aged 15 years on average were reached during regular educational sessions, while 67 youth were reached outside regular educational sessions.

  • There are 24 peer educators enrolled to date.
Ho District
  • A total of 130 youth between the ages of 13-15 years were reached in organized educational sessions, while 84 were reached through activities outside regular educational sessions.

  • There are 24 peer educators enrolled to date.

  • In both districts, target groups participated well in the programme, and even though peer educators faced a lot of financial constraints, they managed to reach their target groups.
Peer educators held educational sessions reaching a total of 1,052 and 1,016 people in the Volta and Ho regions respectively. Participation has been generally encouraging during the sessions. House to house peer educational activities adopted by the Ho district peer educators have contributed to increasing HIV/AIDS awareness in the communities.

Constraints in both Ketu and Ho Districts include: lack of funds to pay volunteers; monitoring visits not conducted due to lack of and/or delay of transfer of funds; inability of some religious groups to participate in peer education activities due to their heavy schedule of activities, delays in accounting, difficulty in recruiting youth by out-of-school peer educators in certain communities, high defaulting rates on the part of the groups registered to go through the education sessions. A total amount of CHF 14,900 was transferred to the Ghana Red Cross this quarter for the continuation of HIV/AIDS activities.

Niger, Mali and Gambia

A total of CHF 5000 was transferred to the Niger Red Cross and the Mali Red Cross respectively as a contribution towards their World AIDS Day 2002 activities. A project memorandum regarding a similar CHF 5000 contribution from the Regional Delegation to the Gambia Red Cross for World AIDS Day 2002 activities, was sent to the Gambia Red Cross for signature.

Training

The Regional HIV/AIDS Coordinator attended a one-week course on 'Evaluation of Health Programmes in Complex Emergencies', which was held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, from the 16 - 20 September, 2002 with the aim of increasing the capacity of Regional health in doing evaluations in the health sector.

For further details please contact: Anne Kirsti Vartdal, Phone : 41 22 730 4485; Fax: 41 22 733 0395; e-mail: vartdal@ifrc.org.

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

John Horekens
Director
External Relations Division

Bekele Geleta
Head
Africa Department

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