The first six months of 2010 were characterized by two major earthquake events in Haiti and Chile that required a massive response effort, leveraging the full range of the Movement's disaster response resources, as well as its global coordination and technical assistance capacities. The response operations both demonstrated IFRC's capacity to scale up quickly through the deployment of a focused and flexible global surge capacity. A record number of ERUs were deployed to Haiti (21), as well as various FACT and recovery assessment and coordination missions. In addition, nine other major emergency operations were launched in the same period - five in Africa for floods (Kenya and Tanzania); food insecurity (Chad, Ethiopia and Niger); three in Asia Pacific for severe winter (Mongolia); support for IDPs (Sri Lanka); diarrhoea outbreak (Nepal); and one in Europe/Central Asia for population displacement (Uzbekistan).
The increasing number of small- and medium-scale disasters (predominantly hydro-meteorological) resulted in a record number of Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) applications in the first six months of 2010. The quality of these applications was assured by the Disaster Services department, and support was given to the establishment of the DREF Advisory Group and the development of tighter DREF eligibility criteria.
Progress was made towards strengthening quality assurance support to operations through the further institutionalization of "real time evaluations (RTE)" and work on developing disaster management performance benchmarks and standard operating procedures (SOP). A working group to review emergency appeals and plans of action templates and approaches was established and concept papers developed.
The development of disaster management guidelines and training was delayed due to the slow recruitment of the senior officer preparedness and the senior officer recovery positions. However, these positions were filled in May 2010 and work commenced on a number of important tools and guidance materials to be finalized before the end of 2010. Substantial progress was made on the development of the relief business systems, with consultants engaged to develop software for piloting towards the end of 2010. Collaborative work on the development on new training modules for post-disaster needs assessment progressed for roll-out in the third quarter of 2010.
Improved information management approaches and tools for operational effectiveness and decision making were developed on the back of the Haiti operation, and will be further strengthened throughout the course of 2010. A process to review disaster management information management processes and systems was commenced and will continue with the support of consultants in the second half of 2010.
Key partnerships were maintained and new partnerships established in the reporting period - notably a major new project was developed to scale up the use of cash and vouchers in emergencies - drawing upon the expertise of the Cash and Leaning Partnership (CaLP). Support was provided to the Spanish Red Cross for the establishment of a new Federation Resource Centre on Livelihoods and Economic Security. A working group was established between the secretariat and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to pursue the development of a Movement position in relation to civil protection. Important existing relationships with the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) and the Sphere Project were also supported.