Programmes summary: In the first half of 2008, China was hit by a number of serious disasters, the most devastating of which was the 8.0 magnitude earthquake to hit Sichuan, Gansu and Shaanxi. Severe cold weather and snow storms also greatly affected the nation during the Chinese New Year holiday, and flooding from torrential rains and typhoons continue to threaten much of the southern regions now. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has reacted swiftly to all these disasters, and their capacity has been enhanced with support from the International Federation and other partners. Many of the annual programme activities have been delayed due to the earthquake relief efforts, and it is expected that many will be resumed in the second half of the year.
The ongoing community-based disaster preparedness project in Hubei, supported by the Finnish Red Cross, has completed its first year of activities and is considering the proposals for the second year. Previously selected villages have conducted vulnerability and capacity assessments, set up village level Red Cross branches, established community-based disaster preparedness committees and contingency plans, as well as built biogas latrines and conducted trainings in schools and the communities.
The RCSC launched its HIV Global Alliance on 28-29 March with a national workshop for all branches and partners. The International Federation has brought on a new delegate to support the alliance and many activities have already commenced, including trainings and the publication of a peer training manual. The regional health delegate participated in an impact evaluation of the Australian Red Cross project in Xinjiang providing interesting results showing the positive impact of the project.
Avian influenza projects have been delayed due to the 12 May earthquake, as both Sichuan and Gansu, project areas, were affected. A wrap-up meeting was held earlier in the year and 38 participants from the seven provinces attended to share experiences and lessons learned.
Following on the announcement that 2008 would be the year of organizational development at grassroots level, the RCSC is conducting in-depth assessments at multiple branches throughout the country to gain baseline knowledge on the capacities at branch levels. Humanitarian values continue to be at the forefront of International Federation supported programming, and a part-time communications consultant has worked with the RCSC to promote its valuable work to international media and within the Red Cross Movement.
Financial situation: The total (2008) budget is CHF 2,087,551 (USD 1,954,619 or EUR 1,283,493), of which 27 percent covered. Expenditure overall was 8.2 percent.
See also China Floods Emergency Appeal and China Earthquake Emergency Appeal: MDRCN003
No. of people we help: It is difficult to estimate the total number of beneficiaries in RCSC programmes supported by the International Federation. During this reporting period, branch staff and volunteers were directly benefited by support of the international Federation through multiple trainings and capacity building initiatives. Project implementation was low in the first half of the year, and beneficiary numbers were not gathered in time for this report due to the earthquake operation.
Our partners: The RCSC coordinates closely with the ministry of health and civil affairs at local and national levels, ensuring that Red Cross activities are focused in areas where they have greater impact and cooperation from the local governments. Local organizations and community groups are important local partners for implementing activities, as well as reaching groups that might otherwise be difficult to access, such as men who have sex with men and minority communities. The RCSC also participates in collaborative efforts with other stakeholders and organizations working in related fields, such as UNAIDS, UNICEF, and WHO. The RCSC has an active programme of international cooperation with other members of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, including its special autonomous branches in Hong Kong and Macao, the American, Australian, Canadian, Netherlands, Norwegian, Swedish and Swiss Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The launch of a HIV Global Alliance in China will bring together many Red Cross partners, as well as non-Red Cross partners, under one programme strategy and plan of action devised by the RCSC.