Throughout 2013, the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) continued efforts to strengthen its capacity as the largest humanitarian organization in the country, through the decentralization, de-concentration and categorization process. CRC is strongly committed to build the capacity at branch level to create a strong and sustainable base of governance and management, to mobilize and maintain networks of Red Cross Youth and Red Cross Volunteers in providing effective services to the most vulnerable nationwide and fulfilling its role as auxiliary to the government.
Following on from CRC’s second branch categorization process undertaken in 2010 based on criteria developed on the characteristics of well-functioning branches, the third categorization process began in 2013 and CRC aims to complete this intensive process before the 6th CRC General Assembly in August 2014.
Based on the mandates and statutes of the National Society, CRC organized the 4 th Branch Assembly for its municipals-branches in order to approve branch four-year reports 2009-2013, endorse the next four-year plan, and elect the next term of the branch committee (branch governance board). Ten out of 24 branches have organized branch assemblies and completed branch elections. The original expectation was for all 24 branches to have organized branch assemblies and completed branch elections nationwide. However, due to significant events such as the national elections in July and the unexpected heavy floods starting August, CRC has moved more than half of the branch assemblies to the first quarter of 2014.
During the massive devastation caused by heavy floods between August to October which affected 20 of Cambodia 24 provinces, CRC in joint efforts and coordination with the government and other humanitarian organizations, reached 307,055 affected people with humanitarian relief distributions. CRC was able to respond to this significant emergency without appealing for assistance from Red Cross Red Crescent partners.
At the national headquarters level, CRC has again shown strong capacity in local fundraising by collecting more than USD 14 million during the biggest fundraising event of the National Society on World of Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, 8 May 2013. The amount has increased substantially compared to 2012 result of USD 10.7 million. The CRC central committee allocated these funds mainly towards relief operations and to support weaker branches under one of the branch development strategy called “minimum package”. CRC is being encouraged to contribute a percentage of local fundraising amount towards regular programme delivery and to build stronger capacity for core staff in order to retain capacity after programme staff leave following completion of programmes.
The rapid growth of social media network in the country especially among youth was very apparent during the national elections lead up and campaigning. CRC is keen to leverage on the potential “power” of social media and created its official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/crcnhq in August 2013. As a result branches have been able to share useful and latest information on activities and services, within CRC and among Red Cross Red Crescent Movement as well as the public.