Cuba + 7 more

Caribbean Region Appeal No. 01.52/2004

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

The International Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. The Federation is the world's largest humanitarian organization, and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. All international assistance to support vulnerable communities seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, according to the SPHERE Project.
This document reflects a range of programmes and activities to be implemented in 2004, and the related funding requirements. These are based upon the broader, multi-year framework of the Federation's Project Planning Process (PPP). The PPP products are either available through hyperlinks in the text1, or can be requested through the respective regional department. For further information concerning programmes or operations in this or other countries or regions, please also access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org
Programme title
2004 in CHF
Strengthening the National Society (or National Societies)
Health and Care
509,664
Disaster Management
808,992
Humanitarian Values
41,093
Organizational Development.
635,974
Coordination, Cooperation, and Strategic Partnerships
Coordination and Implementation
250,954
Total
2,246,678

The Americas

Latin America and the Caribbean continue to face many challenges, particularly widespread poverty, inequality, migration, urbanization and vulnerability to natural disasters. The Red Cross Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean, through their branch network, are striving to reach vulnerable communities to help prepare them for disaster, to avoidloss of life and livelihoods and to mitigate the potential effects of common hazards such as floods and landslides. Socio-economic trends are fuelling the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Americas, particularly in the Caribbean where the Red Cross must play a key role in raising awareness and placing the fight against the disease at the top of humanitarian agendas. Uneven distribution of wealth and marginalization of ethnic minorities increase levels of poverty in certain layers of the population which has a direct impact on access to health services. Red Cross Societies are working to enhance capacities of their health departments in order to reach those in need. In addition, Red Cross advocacy campaigns speak out against discrimination and marginalization particularly associated with HIV/AIDS related stigma. The Red Cross in Latin America and the Caribbean is evolving in order to meet the humanitarian challenges and to better target its work. A major focus on networking and peer support aims to promote best practice and to enhance organizational learning. The Communications Forum, promoting capacity in communications, is an example of such a successful initiative. The Inter American Regional Conference has developed a plan of action in order to reflect the undertakings of the Santiago de Chile Commitment of April 2003. The plan of action reiterates the priorities laid down in Strategy 2010. It also stresses the need for achieving strategic alliances with partner organizations in order to work collectively towards a common goal, emphasizes the need for National Societies to engage in change processes and outlines the significance for the Americas of the concept of integrated community programmes which seek to reach vulnerable communities through strengthened branch networks and enhanced use of volunteer resources.

Regional Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has developed a variety of programmes supporting the Caribbean region with its 16 National Societies and 16 overseas branches of the American, British, French and Netherlands Red Cross Societies. A sub regional office in Port of Spain, Trinidad, provides support to the Red Cross entities of the English speaking Caribbean, focusing on 13 National Societies and also the 6 overseas branches of the British Red Cross. Programmes in the Caribbean are also supported through technical assistance from the regional delegation in Panama, although the regional delegation in Panama prioritizes assistance to the National Societies of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, working together with a Federation representative based in Port au Prince.

In prioritizing programmes to support and build the capacities of Caribbean National Societies and overseas branches, the Federation has worked closely with the Caribbean Cooperation of the Red Cross (CCORC), the representative body of the Red Cross in the region.

As an essentially archipelagic region, the Caribbean faces particular challenges in the fields of transportation, communication and economic integration. Many of the region's nations are small island states, with limited resources and a particular vulnerability to natural disasters and changes in the economic climate. Despite the work of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) to promote regional integration, the growth of economic conglomerates such as the North American Free Trade Area has deprived countries in the region of some of their leverage in the marketing of products such as sugar, coffee, and bananas, while leaving them vulnerable to the negative effects of global recession. The region proved particularly vulnerable to the economic downturn and fall in tourism from the United States triggered by the events of 11 September 2001 and more recently the war in Iraq. In addition, the recession in the United States has reduced remittances (an important source of income for some Caribbean states) and both legal and illegal immigration to the US have slowed.

Although the exponential growth in the tourist industry in the years up to 2001 brought in its wake additional income, it also resulted in environmental degradation and the proliferation of disease and social problems. Climate change, and in particular the phenomena associated with global warming and El Niño, has introduced a new severity and unpredictability to the weather in a zone already vulnerable to meteorological extremes. The increasingly deadly impact of the annual hurricane season reflects this with storms such as hurric anes Iris and Michelle (2001), Lili and Isidore (2002) and Fabian and Isabel (2003) capable of taking hundreds of lives and / or causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Apart from the regularly recurring disasters of the hurricane season, the regioni s also subject to catastrophes such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, the case of Montserrat being a current example of the ongoing vulnerability of small island populations.

Vulnerability to natural disaster has been accompanied by a rapid growth of negative social phenomena such as drug-use and crime, and an explosive increase in the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS. The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the Caribbean is second only to that in sub-Saharan Africa, and the disease is now the major cause of death among men under the age of 45. Other social problems include a weakening of family ties and traditional ethical values and this is reflected in the rise of delinquency, gang culture and violence within the family.

These combined influences have impacted on a region rendered vulnerable by demographic pressures and, in some instances, entrenched poverty. The largest country in the region, Cuba, remains the subject of a trade embargo imposed by the United States, with serious consequences for its economy. Haïti, with an adult literacy rate of only 50.8% and a life expectancy of just over 49 years3 is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Even in the relatively prosperous Dominican Republic the value of the peso has been falling rapidly, unemployment in mid 2002 was running at close to 17% and the illiteracy rate remains high at 16%. Throughout the region, rapid population growth has outpaced economic expansion and often exceeded capacity to match increased need with increased spending on basic public services such as health and education. The challenges ahead for both governments and the humanitarian community are multiple and complex and will require sustained support if they are to be tackled effectively.

Source -- UN Stats, Federation 2003 Appeal, UNDP Human Development Report 2003 & 2002
HDI 2003
HDI 2002
Total Population (thousands)
Life Expectancy
GDP per capita (USD)
Barbados
27
31
270
76.9
15,560
Bahamas
49
41
312
67.2
16,270
St Kitts & Nevis
51
44
46
70
11,300
Cuba
52
55
11,272
76.5
5,259
Trinidad and Tobago
54
50
1,306
71.5
9,100
Antigua & Barbuda
56
52
77
73.9
10,170
Belize
67
58
235
71.7
5,690
Dominica
68
61
71
72.9
5,520
Saint Lucia
71
66
151
72.2
5,260
Suriname
77
74
421
70.8
4,599
Jamaica
78
86
2,621
75.5
3,720
St Vincent & the Grenadines
80
91
112
73.8
5,330
Guyana
92
103
766
63.3
4,690
Grenada
93
83
103
65.3
6,740
Dominican Republic
94
94
8,640
66.7
7,020
Haiti
150
146
8,402
49.1
1,860

Full Report (pdf* format - 178 KB)