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Costa Rica and Panama: Floods Emergency Appeal No. MDR43005 Operations Update No. 3

Situation Report
Originally published
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Glide Nos. FL-2008-000158-PAN, FL-2008-000232-CRI

Period covered by this Operations Update: 22 March 2009 to 30 September 2009;

Appeal target (revised): CHF 651,961 (USD 646,306 or EUR 431,954) to support the Costa Rican Red Cross (CCRC) and the Red Cross Society of Panama (RCSP) to assist a total of 12,500 beneficiaries (2,500 families).

Appeal coverage: 100 %;

Appeal history:

- The Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 1 December 2008 for CHF 693,779 (USD 571,953 or EUR 450,336) for nine months to assist 15,000 beneficiaries (3,000 families).

- CHF 270,000 (USD 222,580 or EUR 175,260) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the initial relief activities of the Red Cross Society of Panama, and CHF 110,500 (USD 96,507 OR EUR 75,685) to support the Costa Rican Red Cross in starting relief actions. These DREF operations were annexed to the emergency operation as the floods were taking place in the same affected provinces.

- On 8 April 2009, the budget was revised to reflect better the current situation (no change in the overall figure), for an operation of nine months' duration to reach 2,500 families (approximately, 12,500 beneficiaries)

- This operations update n=B0 3 includes a revised budget of CHF 651,961 (USD 646,306 or EUR 431,954) which reflects more clearly the plans of action of the recovery phase together with an extension of the operational timeframe up to 30 April 2010.

This strategy seeks to target the same group of beneficiaries affected by the floods for the next 6 months. With this update, the operation will be expanded to include new activities and related budgetary changes to implement a new work plan for the remainder of the floods Operation as a result of unexpected generous donations from civilians, governments and private companies in both countries which assisted with covering emergency needs of affected populations in the relief phase.

Summary: The Red Cross Societies of the affected countries, with support from the International Federation, successfully completed the relief phase of the operation. As a result of generous contributions, additional post emergency and rehabilitation activities and the implementation of a preparedness strategy and capacity-building for the affected population and National Societies are included in the revised Plan of Action.

Relief activities have been completed and those affected by the floods in Costa Rica and Panama were provided with relief items such as food parcels, hygiene kits, jerry cans and therefore saw their immediate needs met after the heavy rains had taken place and caused loss and damages.

The funding from external contributions received has allowed for the inclusion of additional risk reduction activities and necessary capacity-building in the affected countries and recovery activities in Costa Rica and Panama.

In June 2009, the International Federation's Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) handed the pending activities over to the Regional Representation for Central America and Mexico, while livelihood rehabilitation activities and water and sanitation activities were being planned by the two National Societies.

Once the relief phase was fully implemented, it was possible to plan community-based programming and to emphasize capacity-building and the strengthening of National Societies' response capacities. These activities are conducted in an effort to enhance National Societies' preparedness for the next natural disaster and also for the food security crisis that is currently affecting the region.

At the end of September, a consultant was hired to carry out a review of the remaining activities and to assess and monitor the plan of action in close collaboration with the National Societies of the affected countries, the Regional Representation Office, PADRU and the international agencies operating in the region.

The new plan of action is expected to be implemented over 6 months and will focus its action on food security activities in Panama and water and sanitation in Costa Rica supporting better prepared communities and National Societies, and will be completed by 30 April 2010; a Final Report will be made available by 30 July 2010 (three months after the end of the operation).