The Sahel sub-region countries are among the poorest in the world. The impact of disasters in this region is magnified because populations are already vulnerable. Multiple natural hazards are prevalent, including health emergencies and epidemics, food insecurity, locust invasions, and desertification. The region is susceptible to floods that destroy crops and infrastructure, and concurrently experiences isolated cases of drought. Almost all the hazards are climate related.
The Sahel+ National Society priorities are guided by the Federation's Global Agenda goals and the Framework for Action. In addition, specific National Society plans also take their roots from Strategy 2010, ARCHI 2010 and the Algiers Plan of Action.
Efforts to support National Societies to deliver assistance to vulnerable persons face challenges in disaster management tasks that multiply due to new disaster patterns related to climate change/variability with the growing risks in large cities such as increasing violence, acute poverty, and urban migration and flooding in unusual areas due to uncontrolled urbanisation. These new challenges are known as urban disasters. National Societies are planning to integrate this new dimension in their ongoing programmes.
In 2009-2010, the Federation's West and Central Africa Zone (WCAZ) will focus on supporting the Sahel+ 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.
With the ongoing support from the British Department for International Development (DfID), the Irish and Spanish Government, and the Swedish and Spanish Red Cross, 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 Comité Inter-Etat pour la lutte contre la secheresse au Sahel (CILSS) and the African Centre for Meteorlogical Applications and Development (ACMAD) will be further pursued and strengthened especially as it relates to disaster management. The partnerships with the academic institutions such as Columbia University's IRI will be further strengthened to facilitate National Society work in risk reduction and food security.
Based on the Algiers Plan of Action, the nine National societies 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 H2P preparedness as one of the pilot countries.
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 three National Societies in the Sahel Sub region are part of the Global Alliance on HIV/AIDS.
Organisational development support to National Societies is aimed at strengthening their structures, both in terms of governance and management and to improve capacities in service delivery to the most vulnerable in support of the Federation new directions. The purpose of the organizational development function in the Global Agenda implementation process 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. Some of the key activities will include the support and guidance to National Societies in ensuring effective volunteer and financial management.
Through the funding provided by the Spanish Government, institutional support to the eight National Societies will be developed and improved with additional funding opportunities. This will include core costs support, structural development and Finance development. The aim of this OD support to National Societies is to ensure 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. The OD department will also continue to encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing for peer to peer support.
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 some important political and social implications in both the producing and receiving States and civil societies. National Societies such as the Mauritanian, Senegalese and Mali Red Cross Societies are implementing projects and activities to assist the migrants. Movement partners such as the Spanish Red Cross and the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) are providing spontaneous support which needs to be structured and coordinated. Other sister National Societies such as the Swedish and Norwegian Red Cross Societies 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 Agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, UNFPA, IOM, UNAIDS) and with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to fight against all forms of violence, discrimination, exclusion and female genital mutilations (FGM).
The total 2009-2010 budget is CHF 2,877,349 (USD 2,630,117 or EUR 1,832,706)