Benin + 18 more

West and Central Africa Zone: Appeal No. MAA61001 Programme Update No. 1


This report covers the period 01/01/08 to 30/06/08.

In brief

Programme purpose: Together with the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies, and in line with the International Federation's Strategy 2010 and the Global Agenda goals, the West and Central African zone (WCAZ) is committed to:

- Establish appropriate mechanisms for effective technical coordination, planning, performance monitoring and evaluation as to assist its 24 National Societies in developing and establishing sustainable community-based health projects, and develop improved preparedness and response in the health sector.

- Build the capacity of the local community, the civil society and the Red Cross/Red Crescent staff to address the most urgent vulnerabilities.

Programme(s) summary: Health is one of the WCAZ's priorities. The health programme areas and activities in 2008 are a continuation of the efforts started in 2006 and in 2007. One of the programme's focus in 2008 is on the further improvement of internal coordination activities within the Movement. With different priorities in the technical fields of water and sanitation, public health preparedness and response, HIV and AIDS and other community-based health programmes (malaria, Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) etc.), the role of the zonal health and care unit is to assure that all technical aspects are respected and developed, while at the same time respecting the natural diversity of National Societies programmes.

An important area of work is the zonal and national HIV and AIDS programming. The Global Alliance (GA) for HIV and AIDS is promoting to scale up activities and the planning in the zone which started in 2007. This process led to the launch of the CHF 20 million GA Appeal for five West and Central African countries (Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Guinea, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)) in July 2008.

Measles and malaria programmes are ongoing in a number of countries, namely Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Togo for malaria and Benin, the Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire and Nigeria for measles. Support from the global programmes is provided through the work of the zonal team with the involved National Societies. Participation in these activities has led to both disease reduction and increased partnership with government and other national and international partners. Significant meningitis activities were carried out by a number of National Societies in the beginning of 2008 to stem the yearly meningitis outbreaks, specifically in Burkina Faso which was again hardest hit by the epidemic.

Water and sanitation programming is being further increased throughout the zone with projects in the DRC and Côte d'Ivoire. Programmes started in 2006 and in 2007 in Niger and Guinea were successfully completed and closed. The health and water and sanitation unit is actively involved in the flood preparedness planning, as well as in the food security issues related to the global price increase.

The water and sanitation capacity building for National Societies in the zone is taking place through a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) training in June focusing on water erosion control, and a second training focusing on Sahelian climate conditions which is planned for late August.

As a new important public health issue, a road safety workshop was held with participants from 25 National Societies from West and Central Africa, as well as the Maghreb. As a follow-up to the workshop, road safety recommendations and projects for their National Societies are now being developed.

To support the development and work of National Societies, the organizational development department organized a regional OD coordination meeting which brought together OD practitioners from a selected few National Societies, Participating National Societies (PNS) involved in capacitybuilding work in the zone (field representatives and managers from their headquarters), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and OD focal points from the various Federation offices in the zone. The desired outcome of the meeting was to map out the OD and related funding needs in the zone, identify the distribution of tasks to various OD focal points in the zone, and develop a common understanding on the few tools on strategic and project planning. The following OD activities also took place in the first half of the year:

- A meeting in Lomé from the 16 May to 8 June 2008: A preparation work group was set up targeting National Societies volunteer management officers. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare the training workshop on volunteer and human resources (HR) management forecasted for the last half of September 2008. This workshop brought together 32 participants including the health coordinators of Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Bissau-Guinea and the thematic groups of the nine Sahel National Societies. The zonal coordinator worked in collaboration with the global volunteering development officer in order to produce a consistent training programme including health aspect (for the volunteers working on community health projects).This is in line with the expected outcome of establishing and implementing a volunteer management framework.

- The planning of 2009-2010 activities took place in June 2008. The OD department objectives were re-emphasized and an action plan was adopted, mentioning the coordination activities, as well as the technical support to be provided to sub-regional offices in the setting up of their OD action plan.