The Federation's West and Central Africa Sub-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 decisions coming out from Pan African Conferences such as the Algiers Plan of Action and the Johannesburg Commitment.
Working within these initiatives, the West and Central Africa sub-zone immediate focus is to support National Societies in providing assistance to address the needs of vulnerable people. Risks are growing in large cities due to overcrowding, increasing violence, acute poverty, urban migration and flooding in poor neighbourhoods where urbanization is uncontrolled. National Societies are integrating these factors into their ongoing programmes.
In 2010-2011, the focus will be 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 Community Disaster Response Team (CDRT), 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. These teams are designed to be supported by other tools such as the International Disaster Responses with the Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) and the Emergency Response Unit (ERU). With the ongoing support from the 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. Capacity development in disaster management in collaboration with the Swedish Red Cross and Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency continues in the three pilot countries for scaling up in West Africa to enable putting in place a robust DM system and strengthen collaboration between National Societies and their governments. With regards to partnerships, the ongoing work with governments and intergovernmental 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 pursued and consolidated particularly as they relate to disaster management and International Disaster Response Law (IDRL). Partnerships with the academic and scientific institutions and the Columbia University's (IRI) will continue to enhance National Societies' work in risk reduction especially at community level.