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West and Central Africa Zone: Plan 2009-2010 (MAA61001)

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Executive summary

The Federation's West and Central Africa Zone (WCAZ) priorities are guided by the following strategic initiatives intended to support the development and work of National Societies: the Global Agenda Goals and the Framework for Action, Strategy 2010, the African Red Cross and Red Crescent Health Initiative (ARCHI) 2010 and the Algiers Plan of Action.

Working within these initiatives, the Zone's immediate focus is to support National Societies in providing assistance to address the needs of vulnerable people. National Societies in the WCAZ face challenges in disaster management due to new disaster patterns related to climate change/variability. Risks are growing in large cities due to increasing violence, acute poverty, urban migration and flooding because of uncontrolled urbanisation. National Societies are integrating these into their ongoing programmes.

In 2009-2010, the WCAZ will focus on supporting the National Societies in disaster risk reduction including adaptation to climate change; early warning system development; preparation for, response to, and reporting on emergencies in a timely and appropriate manner. This will be done through supporting intervention initiatives at community level; and the creation of networks and partnerships to support disaster risk management including food security programmes and interventions based on the objectives of the Algiers Plan of Action.

In terms of preparedness and response to major disasters, tools such as National Disaster Response Teams (NDRT) and Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) will be further strengthened to facilitate effective and timely interventions at both country and regional levels. Both tools are designed to be supported by the global Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) tool. With the ongoing support from British Department for International Development, Institutional Support (DfID IS), the Irish and Swedish Governments, the Federation will also continue to support National Societies in community-based risk reduction activities. With regards to partnerships, the ongoing work with governments and inter-governmental bodies such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Comité Inter-Etats pour la lutte contre la Sécheresse au Sahel (CILSS) and the African Centre for Meteorological Applications and Development (ACMAD) will be further pursued and strengthened particularly as it relates to disaster management and International Disaster Response Law (IDRL). Partnerships with the academic institutions such as the Columbia University's (IRI) will be further strengthened to facilitate National Societies work in risk reduction.

Based on the Zone's recently adopted health and care strategy, National Societies will continue to be assisted in their programmes aimed at improving the health of mothers and children, thus contributing to improving living conditions of the most vulnerable.

Based on the Algiers Plan of Action, the 24 National Societies in the West and Central Africa zone will continue to scale-up their health and care activities by focusing on maternal and child health, malaria, water and sanitation, activities to reduce the risks, and respond to public health in emergencies. In terms of social mobilization, the Federation will also provide support to the National Societies in social mobilization during mass vaccination campaigns and the distribution of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN).

As part of the global programme, the Zone will support the Mali Red Cross human pandemic (H2P) preparedness as one of the pilot countries, and will add 2- 3 additional countries to be identified and integrated in disaster risk reduction support to National Societies to respond appropriately to avian flu. The support to the work of the National Societies aimed at reducing the vulnerability to HIV and AIDS through care, support and prevention activities will be further strengthened. Already five National Societies (Burkina Faso, Central Africa, Guinea, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) are part of the Global Alliance on HIV and AIDS. With the recently launched Global Water and Sanitation initiative in the 24 countries in West and Central Africa, the Federation Zone office will continue to provide support and guidance.

Organisational development support to National Societies is aimed at strengthening their structures, both in terms of governance and management and to improve National Societies' capacities in service delivery to the most vulnerable, in line with the Federation's new directions. The purpose of the organisational development function is to facilitate the scaling-up of activities by providing strategic support in the programmes formulation process, and to facilitate an integrated approach of all project components. Key activities will include support and guidance to National Societies in ensuring effective volunteer and financial management.

Through support from the Spanish Government, institutional support to 8 National Societies (Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal) will be extended to 16 more (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Equatorial, Liberia, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Togo). This will include core costs support, structural development and finance development. While attempting to provide support to all 24 National Societies in West and Central Africa, it is important to underscore the need to be more realistic given the limited resources available.

To this end, some 6 National Societies will be identified to be provided with more hand-on support. This is aimed at ensuring that they work towards improving their governance and management structure that would further enable them to qualify for support through the Intensified Capacity Building (ICB) initiative. Efforts will also continue to focus on encouraging and facilitating knowledge sharing with peerto-peer support.

A Zone principles and humanitarian values (PHV) unit will be created to focus on supporting the ongoing National Societies programmes targeting war affected communities (women and youth) in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire and Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as other marginalized groups (the pygmy community) and commercial sex workers in Cameroon and Nigeria. The PHV unit will also support initiatives of the National Societies and facilitate the mobilization of volunteers, governance and management bodies, government authorities, partner organisations and the general public to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of the most vulnerable.

Migration will also be an important area of focus for the Zone given the challenges being experienced by the National Societies in dealing with humanitarian consequences of migration since the region is both a producer and a transit point for migrants to Europe. Migration also has important political and social implications in both the producing and receiving States and civil societies. National Societies such as the Mauritanian Red Crescent, and the Senegalese and Mali Red Cross are implementing projects and activities to assist the migrants. Movement partners (the Spanish Red Cross and the International Committee of Red Cross, or ICRC) are providing spontaneous support. Other sister National Societies such as the Swedish and Norwegian Red Cross have also expressed interest to work with the Zone to assist the National Societies of the region. In order to define a common Movement strategy based on the resolution of the last International Conference, the West and Central Africa Zone intends to carry out a study on migration (causes and definition of roles and responsibilities of the International Federation) to better understand the context, and to facilitate effective and more strategic support and advice to the National Societies in their work with migrants. Through partnerships, the unit will attract funding from Movement and non Movement partners and implement activities in cooperation with United Nations (UN) Agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA, IOM, UNAIDS) and with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to fight against all forms of violence, discrimination, exclusion and female genital mutilations (FGM).

The total 2009-2010 budget is CHF 13,222,831 (USD 12,086,682 or EUR 8,422,184)