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Caribbean Appeal No. 01.23/2002 Annual Report

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
Appeal No. 01.23/2002; Appeal target: CHF 3,322,922; Appeal coverage: 95%

Overall analysis of the programme

Much was achieved in the Caribbean in the core areas over the year 2002, particularly in disaster management and organizational development. Contributions from the capacity building fund (CBF) for projects in Cuba and Haïti were crucial to the achievements in organizational development, including branch strengthening and youth and volunteer development. A national development plan (NDP) was finalized by the Cuban Red Cross (CRC) and work has begun on the implementation of the cooperation agreement strategy (CAS) process; in Haïti it is hoped to complete the NDP in early 2003. Increased commitment was made to Federation strategic planning processes on the part of the region's National Societies. DIPECHO funding was granted for the development of community based disaster preparedness (CBDP) projects focused on flood mitigation in the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica and Saint Kitts and Nevis; projects were completed in the Dominican Republic and Saint Kitts and Nevis by the end of the year and in Grenada and Jamaica will be finalized in early 2003. In the area of health, a gap in delegate coverage was resolved by the recruitment of a regional health delegate responsible for programmes in both the Caribbean and Central America in August 2002. In October, human resources were also boosted through the recruitment of a regional officer based in Trinidad, who is an expert in the field of HIV/AIDS, and who will provide support to the Red Cross Caribbean HIV/AIDS (CARAN) network. In May 2002, the Federation web site for the Caribbean was created, promoting Red Cross work in the region, and heightening the profile of the region's National Societies. In accordance with the Federation's overall change strategy, the reduction in scale of the regional delegation and simultaneous reinforcement of the Trinidad and Tobago office came into effect as of the third quarter of the year. Fortunately, no major disasters occurred during the crucial period of the re-structuring of Federation support in the Caribbean. However, an emergency appeal to assist 10,000 persons was launched following Hurricanes Lili and Isidore which struck Cuba in early October. In 2003, the Caribbean is managed through a regional delegation in Panama and two sub regional offices in Santo Domingo and Port of Spain.

Objectives, Achievements and Constraints

Disaster Response

At the beginning of 2002, the regional delegation continued its involvement in programmes managed by the Jamaican Red Cross, the Belize Red Cross Society and the Cuban Red Cross, to provide relief to affected persons in the aftermath of hurricanes Iris and Michelle which struck the region in October and November 2001 respectively.

In Belize where hurricane Iris caused extensive damage on 8 October 2001, a Federation programme coordinator worked with the National Society on the final phase of a three-month operation providing food and non-food relief to 820 families in 14 of the worst-hit villages in the Toledo district. In Cuba, the Federation funded the reconstruction by the Cuban Red Cross of 855 houses in four of the worst-affected provinces: Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spiritus and Matanzas. The Jamaican Red Cross ran a relief operation for 87 families affected by floods associated with hurricane Michelle, with the provision of basic food supplies and temporary shelter materials. Completion of this operation was delayed until the end of October 2002, given the impact of hurricanes Isidore and Lili in late September and early October respectively. Haïti and Jamaica were hit by heavy rain and landslides in late May 2002. It was agreed that the assistance in Haïti would be provided through a relief programme managed in conjunction with the Netherlands Red Cross which is running a bilateral, ECHO-funded community disaster preparedness programme in the affected area.

Two major hurricanes - Isidore and Lili - impacted the Caribbean in 2002. Isidore crossed from the Atlantic into the south eastern Caribbean on 15 September and affected Haïti, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and Cuba. As Isidore dissipated, Lili, a stronger hurricane, entered the Caribbean following almost the same track as Isidore. The local Red Cross Societies were able to cope with the response required in all cases. Hurricane Lili passed over south west Cuba on 1 October, damaging almost 50,000 houses and causing the evacuation of 280,000 people. The regional delegation's disaster response delegate travelled to Cuba shortly after the passage of Isidore, and two other delegates, one from the regional delegation and a disaster management delegate from PADRU, flew into Cuba to assist the Cuban Red Cross.

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