Cambodia

Cambodia Appeal No. 01.31/2002 programme update No. 02

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Appeal
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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
Appeal Target CHF 3,988,532
Period covered: 01 April - 25 November 2002

"At a Glance"

Appeal coverage: 57.5%
Related Appeals: South East Asia regional programmes (01.30/2002)
Outstanding needs: CHF 1,693,775

Update: Donors are encouraged to continue their engagement in Cambodia as the Federation maintains its commitment to a complementary Movement-wide strategy of support to the Cambodian Red Cross and the country's vulnerable population. The Federation will continue in 2003 to work with the local National Society and its partners to develop an appropriate response to chronic food insecurity and the alarming reports of increasing malnutrition.

Operational Developments:

The eighth ASEAN Summit took place in Phnom Penh during November. The agenda was dominated by three main topics: free trade agreements, regional security and tourism. The governments of China, Japan and India all signed agreements with ASEAN to create potentially the world largest trading block. Cambodia signed a trade agreement with Japan and benefited from a debt write-off from China. Additionally, South Korea agreed to loan Cambodia US$ 20 million for the rehabilitation of roads and reservoirs throughout the country.

The sixth annual meeting of the Consultative group (CG) for Cambodia was held in June 2002. Donors from 22 countries and seven international organisations met with key ministers to review progress on critical reforms over the past year, to consider benchmarks for performance in the coming year and to discuss the need for improved implementation and enhanced partnership to achieve results. Whilst recognising that progress had been made against the ten 'Action Points' outlined in Tokyo in 2001, the CG noted that significant gaps remain in the areas of forestry, civil service reform, legal and judicial reform and budget allocations to the social sector (World Bank, June 2002). A number of donors also expressed their concerns about human trafficking as well as the need for strengthening the framework for free and fair National Assembly elections in July 2003. In a statement issued by non-governmental organisations (NGO), recognition was made of the governments achievements; however, there is concern that "the rapid growth pushed by donors is increasing inequity ...[and that] progress in policy has not been translated into progress in impact" (NGO statement, June 2002).

The CG meeting emphasised "ensuring the poor benefit from the substantial resources committed to development assistance in Cambodia is central" (Ian Porter, World Bank, 2002). However, the situation for Cambodia's poorest, where as many as 30 percent of the population live below the basic needs poverty line of half a US dollar a day (United Nations Development Programme, 2002), has undoubtedly been worsened by the drought and floods that occurred between June and November 2002. Affecting as many as 2.5 million people, the combination of disasters has not only impacted on crop yields (rice production could be down by as much as 35 percent) but has put a strain on traditional coping mechanisms, forcing more rural people to, inter alia, sell their meagre assets, sell labour in the cities or to reduce the intake of food (Oxfam food security study, November 2002). There is growing concern that chronic food insecurity and the related fact that 56 percent of children under five years old have stunted growth (World Food Programme, 2002), is, for a high number of households, becoming the norm.

The International Federation (Federation) will continue to support the process for developing the Poverty Reduction Strategy paper (PRSP) - which maps out Cambodia's macro-economic, structural and social policies and programmes to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs. However, the conceptual gap between policy and the every day situation of Cambodia's poorest, will continue to be a concern for many humanitarian and development organisations.

Disaster Response:

Although no specific funds were received by the Federation for this programme, some activities have either been funded through emergency response operations or through the disaster preparedness (DP) programme.

The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) supported disaster mitigation project, developed in direct response to the consecutive years of disastrous drought and flooding, was completed by the end of July. The project evaluation found that "as a result of the combination of the rice seed distribution and the rehabilitation of small scale infrastructure, improved food security is expected for the 2002/3 harvest in the target areas..." (Project Evaluation, September 2002). Moreover, valuable lessons have been learnt for future interventions; these are particularly relevant given the growing chronic food security that is being experienced in Cambodia in late 2002. The ECHO supported project has, through food-for-work, enabled the construction of 100 small-scale projects at community level (largely water resource management).

The Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) launched a national level appeal on 24 August in response to the flood and drought. The NS distributed 690 MT of rice to an estimated 28,000 families (averaging 25 kg per family). In addition to rice, CRC distributed a range of relief items including varying quantities of tinned fish, sarongs and mosquito nets. By late October 2002, CRC had not only begun to exhaust its stocks but it had fully distributed in-kind donations received from a number of embassies, the Cambodian royal family as well as from the public. CRC will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, whilst stocks last, for the foreseeable future. It will also work with the Federation to

consider further flood mitigation projects (linked to food security) in late 2002 and 2003. Discussions with the World Food Programme are underway where CRC may distribute 591 MT of rice (for full details see the Information Bulletin on the Federation web site). The Federation will continue to work with CRC, the government and the 'international community' to look at the alarming increase in household level food insecurity as well as the indications of increased chronic malnutrition.

CRC will also look at enhancing its national level appeal process in 2003, where a written document could support the CRC public request for assistance and regular narrative reports could strengthen reporting.

Objective 1 CRC has an emergency action plan.

Activities & Achievements

The Federation regional Disaster Management unit assisted CRC to develop a six month action plan prepared in July 2002.

Constraints

No major constraints were faced in relation to this objective.

Objective 2 CRC is prepared for emergencies.

Activities & Achievements

Stockpiling: As was reported in the first programme update, CRC procured 825 basic household kits (essential relief items including shelter material, sleeping mats, clothing, water containers and mosquito nets). Funds for this procurement were provided through the Empress Shoken Fund and the Latter Day Saint Charities organisation. The majority of kits were distributed during the 2002 drought and flood operations.

Preparedness for health-in-emergencies: The Federation supported a Dengue Fever Prevention operation over a period of five months (see health section below) .

Constraints

Stockpiling has been constrained by a lack of donor support.

Objective 3 CRC has a nationwide communications system.

Activities & Achievements

Since May 2002, no further progress has been made on this objective.

Constraints

Full radio coverage of the flood prone provinces has not been possible due to a shortage of funds.

Disaster Preparedness:

The CRC Disaster Management Department (DMD), with support from the Federation and the International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) completed a departmental strategic planning process in August. The strategic plan provides DMD with a tool, including an action plan, to map out the department's development over the next five years. Since the departure of the Federation DP delegate in late August 2002, technical support to CRC has been provided directly by the Federation regional delegation as well as being harnessed from neighbouring national societies (e.g.Vietnam RC). This approach, which makes greater use of regional resources, has provided an accountable level of support through the regional disaster management unit. In 2003, CRC is expecting support from the British and Chinese (Hong Kong) RC as well as from the European Commission (DIPECHO).

Objective 1 CRC has the capacity to effectively prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Activities & Achievements

The Federation, assisted by funds from ECHO, and the British Department for International Development (DFID), provided technical support to enable CRC to train a total of 525 RC volunteers in disaster management in seven provinces. A total of 71 community based disaster management committees were established, all trained in participatory risk assessment. In addition the Federation supported CRC in facilitating a workshop to revise the disaster management training manual and to subsequently field test the manual with 14 CRC development officers from seven provinces.

Constraints

The development of DMD continues to be constrained by a lack of suitably qualified staff and further training in project design, monitoring and evaluation as well as in report writing and proposal development is required.

Objective 2 CRC has the capacity to implement natural disaster prevention and mitigation strategies at the community level.

Activities & Achievements

With support from the Federation, CRC expanded its community based mitigation activities through ECHO funded operation. Through a participatory risk assessment, including hazard mapping, community based groups were able to identify and implement 100 small scale mitigation projects. In the last quarter of 2002 further activities will be supported through DFID funding.

Constraints

Further expansion of the programme was limited by the lack of donor support.

Objective 3 CRC is part of local, regional and global networks in disaster management.

Activities & Achievements

The CRC DMD continued to participate in the Southeast Asia disaster management network. This has included two regional meetings (Thailand and Singapore) and representing the network at the Asia-Pacific regional conference in Manila. In addition, the Federation supported CRC staff to attend a training of trainers course for logisticians in Geneva and participate in a Sphere training workshop in Hanoi. Staff from CRC also co-facilitated a Federation disaster management and disaster response workshop in Myanmar, and organised exchange visits between the RC societies of Vietnam and Thailand.

CRC signed an agreement with the United Nations Centre for Regional Development whereby CRC will develop a case study on the sustainability of community based disaster management. The case study will be presented at workshops in India and Japan.

Constraints

There were no major constraints.

Humanitarian Values:

Though receiving some support from the ICRC and Federation, the CRC communications department continues to be constrained by a lack of funds and inexperienced staff. Steps to address this have continued with the communication director and a fundraising officer participating in the regional communication workshop, and the public relations officer receiving a week long internship at the Federation regional delegation. In addition, a volunteer Australian youth ambassador has been assigned to work with the department for 12 months, providing technical support and training in public relations.

Objective 1 CRC has a communications policy by the end of 2002.

Activities & Achievements

The draft communication policy, submitted to the Central Committee for discussion, has not yet been approved. This is likely to take place later in 2002 or early 2003.

Constraints

The overall low funding situation in CRC has meant that the Central Committee has not been able to devote as much time to other issues.

Objective 2 CRC has staff with the appropriate skills to conduct information and dissemination activities.

Activities & Achievements

Originally scheduled to take place in April, a workshop to further train existing dissemination staff took place in November. Though the workshop was to be co-financed by ICRC and the Federation, ICRC covered the full costs. Twenty-six CRC staff (13 from branches and 13 from headquarters), most already involved in the land mine awareness project or working as first aid and DP trainers, were provided with standardised tools for dissemination. The Federation will, in December, fully fund a three day dissemination workshop targeted at newly recruited branch directors, staff and branch committee members.

Constraints

Delays in implementation were largely the result of staff having to focus more on fundraising and on a membership drive.

Objective 3 CRC undertakes the systematic and standardised dissemination of RC/RC messages to defined target groups.

Activities & Achievements

Funds provided through the Federation enabled CRC to air a number of television broadcasts. This included coverage of World RC/RC Day (8 May), with specific focus on the need to reduce discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (two live broadcasts). Additionally, a 'roundtable' discussion on CRC's third General Assembly was organised; the discussion focused on CRC statutes, the process for selection of Central Committee members and the overall activities of the NS. Production of CRC's annual brochure and printing of dissemination material will take place in the last quarter.

Constraints

A lack of funding has meant that not all activities will be carried out as scheduled in 2002.

Health and Care:

A new health delegate started mission in mid-April and a new Australian youth ambassador, responsible for primary health care, also joined the delegation. New health partnerships between CRC and the Danish and American RC entered a project development phase and CRC, with considerable technical guidance from the Federation, has taken steps to develop a health strategy.

While the CRC HIV/AIDS project continues with support from Australian RC, the Federation has also secured funds from OPEC to scale up activities. The French and Swedish RC are also set to support HIV/AIDS activities, as is Impact, an organisation soon to enter into an agreement with CRC for similar activities, with a US$ 65,000 budget.

Although RC volunteers continue to be engaged in community based first aid (CBFA) activities at a number of branches, the regular CBFA programme was suspended due to a lack of funds. A pilot bilateral blood donor recruitment project, established with the Korean RC and CRC and with support from the Federation and ECHO, implemented a Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever campaign over a five-month period.

For further details please contact:

In Cambodia: Men Neary Sopheak, CRC Director of Communications; Phone: 855 23 212 876; Mobile: 855 12 810 854; Fax 855 23 212 875; email: crc@camnet.com.kh

Antony Spalton, Head of Delegation; Phone: 855 12 901 400 (mobile); Fax: 855 23 210 163; email: ifrckh01@ifrc.org

In Bangkok: Jurgen Weyand, Regional Head of Delegation; Phone: 662 661 69 33 and Fax: + 662 661 6937; email: ifrcth23@ifrc.org

In Geneva: Charles Eldred-Evans/Sandra Rosner, Phone: 41 22 730 4320/4456; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: <eldred@ifrc.org> or <rosner@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.

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

John Horekens
Director
Director of External Relations

Simon Missiri
Head
Asia Pacific Department

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