China Appeal No. 01.67/2004 Programme Update No. 1

In Brief
Appeal No. 01.67/2004; Programme Update no. 01, Period covered: 1 January to 30 April, 2004; Appeal coverage: 49.6%; Outstanding needs: CHF 2,237,329.

Appeal target: CHF 4,436,886 (USD 3.32 million or EUR 2.83 million).

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: China Annual Appeal 01.67/04; East Asia Regional Appeal 01.70/04

Programme summary:

For the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), 2004 is an important year as it marks the Society's 100th anniversary and the latter part of the year will see the holding of its 8 th National Convention, held once every four years. During this meeting development of a five year plan will begin highlighting its future policy directions.

International collaboration continues to play a significant role in the RCSC activities, with many partner national societies strengthening their activities in programmes sectors such as HIV/AIDS and disaster preparedness as well as organisational development.

Operational developments

China continues to be one of the world's most dynamic and fastest growing economies. Its annual growth rate in 2003 was 9.1%, the highest level since 1997. Its exports grew by 35% compared to the previous year, and imports by almost 40%. There are, however, increasing concerns about some of the negative effects of this rapid growth, and the government has started to take a number of measures to address these. A new approach was laid out at the meeting of the National People's Congress (NPC) in March. The new approach stresses the implementation of programmes and policies designed to focus more attention on the needs of the rural population and reduce the widening gap between rich and poor in the country. Greater investment in health and education was promised, and prices for agricultural products have been increased since the start of the year. Other important measures announced at the NPC meeting included new constitutional safeguards for private property and human rights in order to support the further development of the modern economy.

These changes reflect a new awareness within China of the social and human aspects of the country's economic development. The issue of addressing the Millennium Development Goals is now higher on the political agenda, and this should help provide a firmer basis for expanding the work of developmental and humanitarian organisations. At the same time however, there are increasing challenges in making the case for international assistance in the face of the country's overall economic development. It is therefore very important not to lose sight of the fact that there are still over 160 million people living in extreme poverty with incomes of less than one US dollar per day, and that nearly 20% of the world's poor live in China.

For the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), 2004 is an important year in many ways. It marks the Society's 100th anniversary and the latter part of the year will see the holding of its 8th National Convention, held once every four years. At this Convention a new five year plan will be adopted charting out its future policy direction, and a new leadership will be elected to guide this work.

The Society's anniversary celebrations took place on 8 May, with a major event being held in the Great Hall of the People attended by leading government and other dignitaries. These included one of the ICRC's vice presidents, the International Federation's Secretary-General and leaders from several of the National Societies that support the work of the RCSC. The celebrations will continue throughout the year and should provide a good opportunity to publicise the Society's activities and gain increased support and recognition.

In terms of international cooperation, this period has seen a continuing high level of activity. There are more than ten National Societies and governments that provide developmental assistance to the RCSC either through multilateral or bilateral channels. The American, Danish and Japanese Red Cross are starting new projects this year, and several of the other Societies that have been active in China for some time are increasing the scope of their assistance.

An important part of the Federation's role in China is thus to provide coordination and support for this increasing pattern of international cooperation. The East Asia partnership meeting held in Beijing at the beginning of March provided a useful opportunity to review this work and to chart out some future directions. More information on the outcomes of this event is included in the East Asia Regional Programme Update No. 1. This China Update focuses on the assistance provided to RCSC by the Federation over the first four months of this year and also gives a short overview of the support provided by partner National Societies. It is planned to give a more comprehensive picture of this support in the next Programme Update.

Health and care

Overall Goal: The RCSC will contribute to the reduction of the transmission of HIV/AIDS in China and help to improve care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

Programme Objective: By the end of the project, RCSC headquarters and selected branches will have improved ability to design, implement, manage and fund effective and sustainable HIV/AIDS interventions, leading to the increased capacity of youth in selected provinces to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

Progress/Achievements

The International Federation is represented on several health and HIV/AIDS related committees and working groups including: UNAIDS Expanded Theme Group, UN Theme Group on Health, UNAIDS Sub Theme Group on Adolescents and Youth, the Country Coordinating Mechanism (Global Fund), and the CCM Working Group on HIV/AIDS.

The Federation's East Asia Regional HIV/AIDS coordinator continues to provide technical assistance in the form of training, monitoring, and assessments as requested by bilateral participating national societies (PNS) in China, especially the Australia n, Netherlands, and Norwegian Red Cross Societies.

2004 has seen an increase in opportunities for the Federation to cooperate with organisations outside of the Red Cross. The HIV/AIDS Coordinator has provided training for Marie Stopes China (MSC) volunteers and is scheduled to facilitate a workshop for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO). The Federation is cooperating with the China HIV/AIDS Information Network (CHAIN) on a number of initiatives including moderating online/email discussion regarding the printing and distribution of Breaking the Silence: A Manual for PLWHA published by APN+.

In supporting People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), the Federation and the RCSC are exploring new ways to work with China's budding PLWHA groups and networks, particularly AIDS Care China. A representative of AIDS Care China co-trains each training of facilitators for youth peer education (a bilateral Netherlands Red Cross-RCSC project).

Expected result: HIV expert trainers from RCSC headquarters and branch staff trained in participatory methodology.

A draft of the agenda for training is complete, and initial contact has been made with consulting trainers with several areas of expertise.

One staff member from RCSC headquarters and one from the RCSC's Xinjiang branch attended the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm (Melbourne, April 2004). The Xinjiang branch representative presented a poster about their programme on peer education by and for PLWHA. Relations were established with representatives from harm reduction programmes in Australia and Central Asia which will, over time, strengthen the Xinjiang branch work with drug users.

Expected result: 800 young people have knowledge and skills to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.

The Swedish Red Cross, a major contributor to this year's activities, is planning to send a delegate to support Youth Peer Education (YPE) but the delegate is not yet in the field. Discussions are under way with RCSC headquarters regarding the location of the new YPE programmes. Programme implementation is expected in June or July 2004.

Expected result: 40 RCSC staff at headquarters and branch level effectively use the manual Making a Difference to manage their VNRBD activities

The 9th International Colloquium on the Recruitment of Voluntary, Non-Remunerated Blood Donors was held in Beijing, 3-7 April 2004. The colloquium was organised by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation) and co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The colloquium which was hosted by the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) was held in partnership with the International Society of Blood Transfusion and the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals (ADRP). The meeting was addressed by senior management from the RCSC and China's Minister of Health. Plenary sessions concentrating on activities in China highlighted efforts by both the RCSC and the government to address the blood needs of China's extensive rural population. Additionally the meeting concentrated on international activities surrounding the Making a Difference (MAD) materials and the introduction of these materials in Mandarin. The designing and implementation of Making a Difference workshops sponsored by the RCSC is planned for the last quarter of 2004.

Constraints

In addition to the annual Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) holidays, which slowed down the country's rate of activity, the RCSC has been occupied with preparations for the society's 100th anniversary celebrations thus causing some delays in implementation of YPE in two new provinces. This year's SARS outbreak has not affected activities.

Disaster Management

Overall Goal: Assist RCSC to strengthen the society's speed and effectiveness with disaster operations.

Project Objective: The RCSC and the Federation improve their capacity for disaster response in China.

Progress/Achievements

Project 1: Disaster Response

Expected Result: Recommendations made during the 2002 flood review have improved the society's disaster response capacity.

Recommendations made following the 2002 flood review to improve the quality of emergency relief activities, were addressed by the management of both RCSC and the Federation. It was originally envisaged that a plan of action would be develo ped based on the recommendations, but this process was overtaken by the need to respond to serious floods which affected large parts of China in the summer of 2003. An Appeal (18/2003) was launched, and the focus switched from developing a plan of action towards jointly addressing the recommendations while implementing the 2003 floods operation.

Several of the recommendations that came out of the March 2003 review of the joint RCSC Federation's 2002 flood operation were implemented and have resulted in more effective management of the 2003 joint floods operation implemented by the national society and the Federation. Federation relief delegates brought in during the summer of 2003 to work with the RCSC on the nine month emergency operation in nine provinces which were severely affected by flooding in 2003, have worked in close co-operation with the regional disaster management delegate to ensure that lessons learned in 2002 were carried over into the 2003- 2004 operation.

Key changes carried out by the RCSC and the Federation during the 2003 joint flood operations as a result of recommendations include the introduction of new monitoring procedures by the RCSC's relief department which were carried out at the close of the 2003 floods operation. Representatives from the RCSC's relief and logistics department visited the provinces where the society carried out relief activities supported by the Federation, the Hong Kong Red Cross and China's national lottery fund. Information gathered during these monitor ing visits will help the society with reporting on activities. Steps are being taken by the finance delegate, the Head of the

Regional Finance Unit and the East Asia Regional disaster management delegate to improve emergency financial procedures to improve the Federation's capacity to fund activities in China. Finally, working in the same building has allowed Federation relief delegates and the RCSC to work more effectively as a team due to improved communications and interaction with each other on an informal basis. A joint participatory review of the 2003-2004 flood relief operation will take place at the end of May. The meeting is intended to assist the RCSC and the Federation with developing a strategy for future relief operations.

Project 2: Community Vulnerability Reduction

Project Goal: Develop a model for vulnerability reduction that can be replicated throughout China.

Project Objective: The vulnerability of the most at risk populations in three to four disaster prone provinces is reduced by implementing the Community Vulnerability Reduction (CVR) project.

Progress/achievements

Federation disaster management programming in China has taken an innovative direction in that issues and activities which were traditionally carried out through separate "vertical" programming (such as "relief operations" and "health programmes") are being incorporated into integrated disaster management activities. The new community vulnerability reduction (CVR) programme seeks to combine sanitation (toilet construction), health education, disaster preparedness and water supply activities. It has its origins in the response to the 2001 floods in southern China, when a post flood rehabilitation programme was designed to follow on from the relief operation.

For 2004, RCSC and the Federation will build on the experience gained through two successive ECHO-supported projects in the Guangxi and Hunan Provinces by developing a more comprehensive and integrated programme in these two provinces, and replicate it in a further one or two other provinces. The programme is supported by two Federation delegates (a programme coordinator and a health delegate) who work closely with provincial branches, helping them implement the project and improving the branches' capacity for financial reporting and project management. Funding for a community based disaster preparedness (CBDP) delegate has been obtained from the Australian and Danish Red Cross Societies. The delegate is expected to commence in June 2004, and will work with the branches to integrate disaster preparedness activities into the existing and developing sanitation, water and health activities.

The Federation delegates based in both Guangxi and Hunan and representatives from the RCSC's Hunan and Guangxi branches have carried out a number of assessments of flood affected communities during the reporting period. The assessments have identified 12 rural communities in Guangxi Province and 10 rural communities in Hunan Province which will be assisted in developing improved water supplies, sanitation facilities and health education activities. These activities assist communities by reducing disaster-related morbidity; improving health status and living condition; facilitating behaviour-change; and improving the environment. The advantage of this type of approach is it develops community spirit and co-operation and allows the community to identify what they perceive are areas of concern and find realistic solutions. The selection of suitable villages has been based on the following criteria:

  • Located in flood prone areas.
  • Which are primarily made up of ethnic minority groups.
  • Of low economic status.
  • With enthusiastic residents who are willing to be involved.
  • Supportive local authorities.
  • Involvement of local Red Cross, Government, and farmers.
In April 2004 a one day planning meeting was organised by the Federation and RCSC headquarters to review the evaluation of the second phase of the project which was funded by ECHO, and incorporate the lessons learnt in implementing the previous projects. The meeting brought together RCSC senior management and staff, representatives from the Guangxi and Hunan Provincial branches, Federation project delegates, as well as the

Federation regional disaster preparedness and finance delegates. In particular, the meeting looked at streamlining processes in both provinces to ensure consistency within the program and the inclusion of the community based disaster preparedness (CBDP) component being supported by the Australian and Danish Red Cross Societies.

Expected result: The effects of slow onset and sudden emergencies are minimized for 70,000 people in Hunan, Guangxi, and a third province to be identified following a thorough assessment.

Guangxi

  • Three prefectures including 12 villages have been identified for assisting in the construction of 3,700 dry hygienic toilets.
  • Two villages identified for assisting the construction of gravity fed community water supplies.
Hunan
  • Four prefectures including 10 villages identified for assisting in the construction of 3,700 dry hygienic toilets.
  • Two villages identified for assisting the construction of gravity fed community water supplies.
Expected result: The level of sanitation related diseases for 70,000 people living in the three provinces is reduced.

The Guangxi and Hunan RCSC branches completed a baseline health education survey and commenced a mobilisation campaign in all seven prefectures.

Impact

Many villagers in remote areas of China have limited access to both basic medical and educational resources. In the current ECHO programme participatory community based health education is being developed, based the two previously ECHO supported programmes and an initial baseline health survey. The advantage of conducting an initial baseline survey is that the health education is programme will address the actual needs and build on the current understanding of health related issues within communities, increasing sustainability and the fostering of community spirit and co-operation. Another significant advantage to this type of health education program in China is that the RCSC has members at all levels of the community therefore ensuring programme support and success. Village level volunteer groups are being formed to promote health awareness. With suitable support and guidance these same or similar groups of people will be mobilised for community disaster preparedness activities.

It is the aim of the RCSC and the Federation that all villages included in the programme will receive support in all four of the CVR areas, namely the provision of Eco-San toilets, improved water supply, health education and disaster preparedness. Negotiations with the Australian and Danish PNS has been undertaken in supporting the CBDP component and an experienced community-based disaster preparedness delegate to commence this aspect of the programme.

Constraints

There have been no constraints to the implementation of the project during the reporting period.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Red Cross Society of China: Mr.Wang Xiaohua, Director of RCSC External Relations Department, email;rcsc@chineseredcross.org.cn; phone +86-10-6512-4169; fax+86-10-6512-4169

East Asia Regional Delegation: Mr. Alistair Henley (HoRD), email;ifrccn01@ifrc.org; phone+86 1350 1205 972, fax+86-10-6532-7166

Federation Geneva: Mr. Satoshi Sugai, Desk Officer, email;satoshi.sugai@ifrc.org; phone +41 22 730 4237; fax+41 22 733 0395

This Programme Update reflects activities to be implemented over a one-year period. This forms part of, and is based on, longer-term, multi-year planning. All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

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