West & Central Africa Programmes (MAA61001) Annual report 2009

This report covers the period 17/January/2009 to 31/December/2009.

In brief

Programme purpose: The 2009-2010 West and Central Africa Zone's (WCAZ) Plan aims at providing support to National Societies to properly address the needs of vulnerable people. The 2009 plan of action focuses on the implementation of the safety and resilient community framework. Integrated approach targeting community at risk has been developed with NS and PNS that covers DRR, Health and OD issues at branch level with strong community participation. Some of the projects will continue in 2010. Introducing new farming techniques to improve food production of vulnerable groups to increase their resilience to disasters and increasing knowledge of school children on risk issues will contribute to build pillar for risk reduction culture. NS have been supported to have five-year DRR projects and shift from disaster risk had hoc management. More NS will benefit from support for long term DRR issues while assistance will be provided to develop DRR long term strategies where appropriate.

Baseline for food security (FS) programmes have been developed in five NS and have been shared with PNS as it could serve to measure progress made in the field and to develop specific projects. Baselines on food security have been considered as a strong contribution of the Federation to RC-RC Movement work done in the field of FS. Efforts were made to improve preparedness for response at both community and NS levels. Meteorological predictions concerning many time scales (seasonal, monthly and short term - 10 days) have been used to improve disaster management preparedness and response effectiveness. A pilot project of an IFRC desk in ACMAD for short term prediction has been successful as the seasonal predictions in 2009 were not very strong. Lot of unforeseen events happened during 2009 (both flood and drought in the same countries). With support from the climate centre (The Hague) a workshop has been organized in Senegal with Red Cross volunteers, scientists and communities to bridge Distribution of agricultural materials in Poor during recovery phase after the 2009 floods in Senegal/International Federation knowledge and vulnerability reduction programmes. A methodology has been developed to duplicate this approach in other National Societies. All National Societies in the Sahel Region have been supported in building capacities and teams for preparedness and response with training for Community Disaster Response Teams (CDRT) and National Disaster Response Teams (NDRT) and at branches level. Contingency plans and appropriate regional stocks were available to support NS when necessary. These preparedness measures have been used during the 2009 floods response. Some challenges faced will be addressed in 2010.