Programmes summary: Two major events in 2008 had a dramatic affect on the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC): the devastating earthquake of 12 May and the Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Beijing in August and September. The International Federation provided continuous support to the relief and recovery efforts of the Red Cross Society of China by coordinating International Red Cross Red Crescent support, and launching an emergency appeal of CHF 167 million based on the outcomes and findings of technical assessments in the earthquake zone.
Building on the opportunities to support and guide the RCSC during this disaster response operation, the International Federation's disaster management team has worked closely with the RCSC headquarters to see how best to build capacities in disaster response. At the same time, the community-based disaster preparedness projects that were postponed during the emergency and relief phases of the earthquake response resumed activities in the latter part of the year.
Health programmes that were delayed due to the earthquake were also reinitiated in the second part of the year. After the March launch of the RCSC's scaled-up HIV programme under the Global Alliance, projects in most provinces got underway, and many of the activities were publicized during World AIDS Day across the nation. Avian influenza programmes have commenced once again in two provinces, with the training of trainers and dissemination activities through Red Cross volunteers.
The RCSC has marked 2008 as the year of grassroots organizational development, following up on the focus in 2007 on volunteer management development. A nationwide conference on the subject has brought together all provincial branch leaders to discuss the plans for rolling out new initiatives to strengthen the grassroots of the Red Cross in China. Coincidentally, the pilot project supported by an intensified capacity building grant is underway with links to HIV programming and volunteer development.
Humanitarian values and Red Cross principles are at the heart of all activities of the RCSC. The International Federation continues to support this through programme planning, trainings and workshops, and the particular support of the communications delegate, who has joined the office as a full-time position as of autumn 2008.
Financial situation: The total 2008 budget was CHF 932,939 (USD 821,864 or EUR 619,272), which is 57 per cent covered. Overall expenditure against income for the period is 72 per cent.
No. of people we help: Populations in communities served through RCSC programmes supported by the International Federation number in the tens of thousands. In addition, many branch staff and volunteers directly benefited from support of the Federation through multiple training sessions and capacity building initiatives. Beneficiary numbers have not been properly assessed due to the attention put on the earthquake operation during these months and many 2008 figures were being gathered during the writing of this report.
Our partners: These programmes are supported through the generous donations of partners that include the American, Australian, British, Finnish, and Swedish Red Cross. The RCSC has active programmes of bilateral cooperation with other members of the 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 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 minority communities. The RCSC also participates in collaborative efforts with other stakeholders and organizations working in related fields, such as The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO). 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.
On behalf of the Red Cross Society of China, the International Federation would like to thank all partners for their support.