Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Winter humanitarian needs Appeal No. 37/02 Operations Update No. 1

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The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
Launched on 23 December 2002 for CHF 958,000 for months for 30,000 beneficiaries

Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 50,000

Beneficiaries: 30,000

Period covered: 23 December - 31 January 2003; Next Update expected 15 April 2003

IN BRIEF

Appeal coverage: 28%

Related Appeals: 2003 Annual Appeal for Bosnia and Herzegovina (no. 01.73/2003)

Outstanding needs: CHF 630,000

Summary: With the onset of winter, large numbers remain at risk, in need and isolated, particularly the elderly, disabled, single mothers, the internally displaced and returnees. The Red Cross focuses first on those no one else is assisting, the forgotten and people who returned to settlements where few donors are active. The response to the Appeal has been so far limited. Thanks to some generous support, activities have been initiated, support was provided. However a lot remains to be done and it is hoped that future contributions will secure the funding of this important & needed programme

Operational Developments

Some 920,000 refugees and displaced people are estimated to have returned to their homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Dayton Agreement was signed (more than 40 per cent of those expelled in the conflict). This reflects an accelerated rate of return, and in 2002 alone almost 92,000 minority returns were registered by the end of November.

With the limited amount of international support there is a serious humanitarian gap, and the lack of assistance available for the returnees threatens to undermine the sustainability of the return process. As return has become an accepted reality in BiH (applauded by the international community), too many returnees are asking themselves whether remaining at home is a viable option. From January to October this year almost 7,000 persons from BiH applied for asylum in other countries, notably Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Norway, many finding themselves in a desperate social and economic situation in their home country, with seemingly no hope for the future.

The minority returnees are one of the most vulnerable groups in a society in which 19% of the households exist below the poverty line and the unemployment rate is more than 40%. They are particularly affected by poverty, since the majority of them lack an adequate income and are faced with numerous obstacles during the reintegration into their pre-war communities. The remaining international assistance is directed to reconstruction of houses for a small number of returnees, while humanitarian needs are neglected. The local social infrastructure is still too weak to give any substantial support to those returning.

An Appeal was launched on December 23, by the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina (RCSBIH) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The intervention includes distribution of basic relief items to 30,000 most vulnerable people, re-establishment of 6 teams for social integration and establishment of the Red Cross grassroots network of volunteers. During the reporting period, all necessary preparations have been finalized, as well as the screening of beneficiaries using a community-based approach. 4 out of 6 teams were established in the beginning of January and 6,000 welcome parcels were distributed to the selected priority areas (costs covered by the Regional Population Movement Programme funds). The procurement of additional relief items (6,000 welcome parcels) has been initiated.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Red Cross secretaries on local and regional/cantonal level and approximately 150 volunteers have been engaged in the operation. Out of that number 128 volunteers are part of the RCSBiH PM grassroots network of volunteers and the majority had induction training in the course of the year 2002, while newly recruited volunteers in three priority areas (Glamoc/Bosansko Grahovo, Gorazde and Visegrad) will attend one-day training in February 2003.

Region/Canton
No. of RC grassroots volunteers
Tuzla Canton
16
Una-Sana Canton
16
Brcko District/ Bijeljina Region
15
Birac Region (Srebrenica/Bratunac)
14
Doboj Region
12
Prijedor Region
10
Gorazde Canton
15 (to be trained in February)
Herzeg-Bosnia Canton (Glamoc/Bos.Grahovo)
15 (to be trained in February)
Old Herzegovina Region (Visegrad)
15 (to be trained in February)
TOTAL
128

The volunteers have been involved in identification and visits to the beneficiaries, distribution of relief items and contacts with relevant local institutions.

From the onset of the operation the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been receiving support from a number of the Red Cross Societies. The National Societies of Sweden, Iceland and Japan have sent cash contributions with approximately CHF 226,000.

Sizable in-kind donations including food/hygiene items and winter clothes have been sent by the National Societies of Switzerland and Sweden.

Objectives, activities and results

Relief distributions

Objective 1: To distribute one-off welcome parcels to 30,000 of the most vulnerable minority returnees with up to 20% of the relief going to local vulnerable population in a community-based manner. In addition, to distribute 1,000 stoves and 3,000 m3 of firewood to the most needy.

Achievements

6,000 welcome parcels (combination of food and hygiene items) have been purchased locally and distributed in the second half of January to 4 selected areas (Tuzla, Doboj, Bratunac/Srebrenica and Glamoc/Bosansko Grahovo). Each area received 1,500 parcels and distribution to the beneficiaries through 4 social integration teams is ongoing, while selection of beneficiaries was done through the RCSBiH grassroots volunteers network and branches in accordance with the criteria established jointly by RCSBiH and IFRC. The distribution process is closely monitored by volunteers and staff of the local branches in selected priority areas.


Welcome parcel:

Item
Quantity
Washing powder
1 kg
Toothpaste
1 tube
Soap
1 piece
Candles
10 Pieces
Matches
1 pack
Coffee
0,25 kg
Tea
0,12 kg
Sugar
1 kg
Biscuits
0,4 kg
Canned meat
2 cans

Objective 2: To establish 6 RC mobile/social integration teams in 6 of the above-mentioned selected priority areas.

Achievements

The RCSBiH established in the beginning of January 4 out of planned 6 teams, in Tuzla Canton, Srebrenica/Bratunac, Doboj Region and Glamoc/Grahovo. The teams have 2 persons respectively, and their recruitment was done through the RCS BiH within the job description and project outline. Their interventions include: distribution of relief items, referrals, social care (linking it to existing home care network of RCSBiH), minor house repairs, chopping firewood during winter, and those teams are closely connected with the RC volunteers network, as the selection of beneficiaries was done with its assistance.

Dissemination

Objective 1: To advocate on behalf of the returnees with a special, but not exclusive, focus on minority returns and to raise the RCSBiH profile in the society and towards all stakeholders in the field relevant to population movement (PM).

Achievements

The RCSBiH has initiated a whole range of activities that will be intensified during the course of the operation. The activities are as follows:

  • a design of poster is in its final phase.

  • a press release has been issued on 23 December when the appeal was launched.

  • selection of volunteers for the info network in Glamoc/Bosansko Grahovo, Gorazde and Visegrad is underway, while Tuzla, Bratunac/Srebrenica and Doboj have already established that network.

  • with support of the Regional Communication Delegate a story related to the appeal was placed on the Federation web-site.

  • it is planned that local media will be contacted and informed on activities of assistance to the most vulnerable in order to promote the RCSBiH.

  • Entity RC magazines has already started and during the operations will pay special attention to the PM program with accent on the activities related to the appeal.

National Society Capacity Building

Despite of the fact that the RCSBiH has experienced staff and volunteers in relief operations, the nature of this relief operation requires the building of staff and volunteers further skills and knowledge, especially in Red Cross policies and capacities. The staff hired for the work in socio-integration teams attended in their respective branches one-day training with special focus on reporting and finance, while the forthcoming training (in February) for the grass-root network of volunteers in Glamoc/Bosansko Grahovo, Visegrad and Gorazde areas will be primarily focused on networking with other agencies.

Federation Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Federation Representative together with the Regional PM Office in Zagreb has a liaison and support role during the operation, while the Federation local staff provides appropriate technical assistance. The Federation local staff experienced in logistics is responsible for the procurement of relief items and distribution to the selected areas, as the RCSBiH has limited capacity for such activities.

Coordination

The International Federation Representative together with the RCSBiH PM Coordinator has undertaken a major role in coordination of the international support to the National Society, primarily by liaising with embassies and international organizations in Sarajevo. As a result, the Royal Netherlands Embassy of expressed its interest especially for the areas of Gorazde and Visegrad and requested more detailed information, which were compiled and submitted to the person in charge in the Embassy.

Outstanding Needs

Donor support to this appeal has been very positive, and with the funds received so far a considerable progress has been achieved in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable population during the first month of operation, but the Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina still needs CHF 630,000 to complete the operation within the six-month time frame.

For further details please contact: Penny Elghady, Phone: 41 22 730 43 19; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: Penny.Elghady@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.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation’s website.

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

John Horekens
Director
Division of External Relations

Lynette Lowndes
Head
Europe Department

Bosnia and Herzegovina winter needs
ANNEX 1
APPEAL No. 37/2002
PLEDGES RECEIVED
14.02.2003
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
CASH
TOTAL COVERAGE
REQUESTED IN APPEAL CHF
>
958'000
27.8%
ICELANDIC - RC
2'000' 000
ISK
34'202
30.12.2003
JAPANESE - RC
22' 200
USD
30'869
08.01.2003
SWEDISH - GOVT
1'011' 700
SEK
160'860
10.01.2003
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN CASH
225'931
CHF
23.6%
KIND AND SERVICES (INCLUDING PERSONNEL)
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
SWEDISH - GOVT
255' 000
SEK
40'545
10.01.2003
SECOND HAND CLOTHES & TRANSPORTATION
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN KIND/SERVICES
40'545
CHF
4.2%
ADDITIONAL TO APPEAL BUDGET
DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED
CHF