Programmes summary: The East Asia regional office has supported country delegations and national societies in the management of their programmes, coordination and cooperation amongst partners, the incorporation of humanitarian values, and capacity building at all levels.
Through funding from the appeals, the national societies of the East Asia region have been able to strengthen their current programmes in disaster management and health and care, and have thereby been successful in improving the quality of life for many millions of people in some of the most vulnerable communities in these countries. Federation regional delegates have provided capacity building opportunities through training, supported programme management and monitoring, and facilitated valuable networking on the national and international levels.
Financial situation: The total 2006-2007 budget was CHF 29.9 million (USD 27.7 million or EUR 18.1 million) out of which 96 percent is covered. Overall expenditure against income for the period was 85 percent.
No. of people we help: It can be estimated that Red Cross programmes supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (The Federation) in East Asia reach more than ten million beneficiaries in Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and China each year. This number may be a conservative estimate considering the challenges of collecting such data. Women and children have been a primary beneficiary in many of these programmes, especially in health and care, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness.
Our partners: The East Asia regional office supports all five East Asian national societies (China, DPRK,Japan, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea, as well the Federation's two country delegations in DPRK and Mongolia, and serves as the country delegation for the Red Cross Society of China. It assists in the coordination of bilateral and multilateral partnerships in these countries for more than ten partner national societies. Furthermore, the East Asia regional office partners with government and international agencies, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations agencies, and other NGOs working in the countries were projects are implemented.
The East Asia region is made up of a very diverse population, facing diverse political and socio-economic issues. The region stays on the headlines of the media with stories such as the ongoing six-party talks in the DPRK and China's preparation for the 2008 Olympics. At the same time, the region is plagued with frequent natural disasters of massive magnitudes, extreme contradictions in wealth and social welfare, as well as the continuous potential threat of pandemics spreading in and beyond the region.
While development is on the rise in the region, the World Bank estimates that 552 million of the world's 1.1 billion poor are living in East Asia.(1) Governments across the map are beginning to place more responsibility on humanitarian organizations to take on this challenge, often while reducing their funding on critical programmes. This puts a great strain on the Red Cross societies in the region, as they are trying to scale up their efforts in disaster management as well as health and care, while at the same time building their own organizational capacities.
Some of the worst flooding in history hit various areas of both China and the DPRK in the past two years. Millions have been affected with long-term implications of increased vulnerabilities. In 2007, both China and the DPRK launched emergency appeals with the support of the Federation, in order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations. At the same time, in other areas, severe drought, and extreme temperatures across the region have left millions without adequate water supplies or protection.
The regional health context has also been complex and rapidly changing throughout these two years. The diversity of East Asia's countries in terms of demographics and socio-economic development is reflected in the nature of the risks posed by HIV/AIDS and the epidemiology in each of the five countries. HIV epidemic continues to affect the region and although there is some variation in estimation methodology introduced starting from 2007, the 92,000 (21,000-220,000) adults and children estimated to be newly infected with HIV in East Asia in 2007 represent a significant increase over the 77,000 (4,900-130,000) people who acquired HIV in 2001(2).
Besides disasters and the spread of diseases, ongoing rapid urbanization, population movements, population ageing and other broad social phenomena are having a collective impact on the nature and extent of health problems in the region. These, of course, change how disasters and diseases affect the populations, and ultimately affect how the Red Cross responds in each situation.
During this time, the national societies have themselves been challenged with various constraints in their work, adequate funding being one of the major concerns for both Mongolia and China. For example, at the end of 2005, the DPRK government announced it intention to halt the work of humanitarian organizations and focus on development, rather than relief. Although the DPRK Red Cross and the Federation were able to negotiate a continued presence in the country, this resulted in a major reduction in the number of in country international delegates and increased the role of the regional delegation in supporting the work in the DPRK.
(1) East Asia and Pacific Update, April 2007
(2) UNAIDS/WHO; 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update
For further information on this Appeal, contact:
- Federation regional office in China: Mr. Carl Naucler (head of East Asia regional office); firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: +86.10.65327162, fax: +86.10.65327166.
- Federation zone in Kuala Lumpur: Mr. Jagan Chapagain (deputy head of zone); email: email@example.com; phone: +603-2161 0892; fax: +603-2161 1210