The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' (IFRC) East Asia regional office serves to support and build capacities within the national societies of the East Asia region. The region includes China, Mongolia, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea, and Japan. The IFRC has programmes that support the national societies in China, Mongolia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The IFRC continues to support the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) in the recovery efforts for the areas struck by the 8.0 magnitude earthquake on 12 May 2008. The regional office hosted, with the RCSC, a partnership meeting specifically on the earthquake recovery activities in April, in conjunction with the annual partnership meeting of East Asia national societies. At the same event, the IFRC organized specific sessions on the Global Alliance on HIV in East Asia, a Cooperation Agreement Strategy (CAS) partnership meeting for the DPRK Red Cross Society, and exploration of a possible CAS process for Mongolian Red Cross Society.
The regional disaster management team hosted a regional disaster management team meeting in March followed by an emergency assessment workshop. The team also continues to support each national society on contingency planning, the development of national disaster response teams and integrated programming.
The regional health team also organized and hosted a regional health team meeting in March where focus on community-based health and first aid as well as water and sanitation initiatives were introduced and discussed in detail. The development of the A (H1N1) virus into a global pandemic spurred the IFRC's health team into action to make sure each country office and national society in the region have pandemic preparedness plans updated and ready for the inevitable spread of the virus. Furthermore, support to national societies in dealing with hand, foot and mouth disease and the concerns over H5N1 avian influenza virus are ongoing.
Following the worst floods in decades which hit Mongolia in July, killing 24 people and affecting thousands more, CHF 240,000 in funds was released from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Mongolian Red Cross Society's (MRCS) relief efforts with food and non-food items.
In other developments, the East Asia regional disaster management programme continues to provide technical support to DPRK Red Cross, RCSC and MRCS in disaster risk reduction. The programme supports the national societies in reviewing and developing funding plans and proposals and conducting feasibility studies together with the national societies and discussing with potential donors and partner national society interested in supporting disaster risk reduction in the region.
The regional health programme supports the national societies of the region in various health programming, including HIV, blood donor recruitment, and emergency health and water and sanitation. The regional health programme has also been actively supporting the adaptation process of the IFRC's new community-based health and first aid approach in the regional countries.
Regional support to the national societies in communications, organizational development, planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, and overall coordination continue to be a priority for the regional office.