Dominican Rep. + 4 more

Americas Zone: Appeal No. MAA42003 - Annual Report 2008


This report covers from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008.

Programme purpose: The Federation Secretariat in the Americas Zone seeks to provide all relevant support to the 35 Red Cross Societies of the Americas with the aim to increase their capacities, skills and tools; to assist them in reaching a greater number of people living in conditions of high vulnerability and risk; to enhance their work in strengthening community livelihoods and resilience, and to be present where and when needs are greatest and the Red Cross can make a difference.

The Americas Zone Office leads and coordinates this support through its Regional Representations, in line with the International Federation's New Operating Model, building the membership's capacity to deliver the Global Agenda and to build stronger National Societies in the areas described in the Framework for Action, in line with the objectives and strategies prioritized in the Inter American Plan 2007-2011. The Americas Zone Office also has a strong role in advocating for the work of the Red Cross in the Americas in international fora.

Programme summary: This report focuses on the work carried out in 2008 by the team in the Americas Zone Office to provide leadership and guidance to International Federation efforts to increase the impact of the humanitarian activities of the National Societies in the Americas. National Societies throughout the Americas have continued to respond to multiple disasters, as well as to scale up their efforts to implement programmes in line with the commitments in the Inter-American Plan 2007-2011 and the International Federation's Global Agenda.

Within Global Agenda Goal 1, the focus was on strengthening regional and national disaster response mechanisms and increasing knowledge about Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) tools and risk reduction activities. The Zone supported the organization of various events, workshops and meetings, including the Global meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction, a workshop focused on livelihood interventions, and a forum on Climate Change. Much time was dedicated to the preparation for the Global Alliance on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Within Global Agenda Goal 2, much time was dedicated to the preparation of the launch of the Global Alliance on HIV in the Americas, which took place in August. The Zone Office also provided support to the National Societies and their regular programmes. The focus on Health in Emergencies was reinforced by the presence of a health in emergencies delegate working partially for the International Federation and partially for the Norwegian Red Cross, funded by the Norwegian Red Cross. Finally, the Zone has facilitated a process whereby certain National Societies have received technical assistance and guidance on food security with an aim to impact mother and child health through adequate nutrition.

As for Global Agenda Goal 3, the first half of 2008 was dedicated to the consultation process with the National Societies, as part of an integral planning process and a validation of the commitments in the Inter-American Plan 2007-2011 and the recommendations of the study, The Future of the Red Cross in the Americas. As a result of this consultation, a process of developing Secretariat country support plans with and for each National Society has started in the Americas, a step forward from secretariat regional support plans.

Regarding Global Agenda 4, the Americas Zone supported initiatives related to the prevention of violence, together with the Spanish Red Cross and the ICRC. In addition, the focus on migration in the Americas was increased with an aim to understand current needs and capacities available, and important steps were taken to address the issue of Volunteer Management, an area with much room for improvement and high amongst the priorities of most National Societies.

2008 saw the publication of the Inter-American Plan 2007-2011. Subsequently, consultation was carried out with each of the National Societies in the Americas regarding priorities in light of the Inter-American Plan, which facilitated formal baseline information for 33 National Societies. In addition, a pilot experience with some National Societies took place with a tool to facilitate monitoring of project plans at the outcome and indicator level, rather than at the level of planned activities. In view of the positive outcome of this experience, a more comprehensive monitoring tool was commissioned to a consultant and this is expected to be further rolled out in 2009.

Financial situation: The total 2008 budget is CHF 567,183 (USD 537,767 or EUR 378,981), of which 113 per cent covered. Expenditure overall was 83.4 per cent.

During 2008, the Zone Office faced several cases of integrity risk within National Societies in the Americas, hence requiring much attention to deal with such risks. The hurricane season and other emergencies also required much attention from the Zone Office over much of the second half of 2008. This resulted in re-prioritizing activities and processes that had been planned.

Variances shown in the financial report between budget, income and expenditure are explained as follows:

International Staff: The initial budget included a Zone Disaster Management Coordinator and a Health and Care coordinator, although recruitment for these positions did not take place in 2008. Consequently, the budget was revised mid-year on the basis these positions would be filled during the second half of 2008, however, this was not the case.

Office costs: The variance is mainly because unforeseen structural improvements were necessary for the buildings rented by the Zone Office for an amount of CHF 22,000. An audio visual platform was also purchased for CHF 12,000, which had not been budgeted initially. This platform has allowed and will continue to allow savings in travel to attend meetings.

Workshops and Trainings: Costs for travel, meetings and miscellaneous costs related to the integrity cases are booked here, hence the variance.

See also Appeals for Central America, Mexico and Panama (MAA43001), Andean Region (MAA46001), Southern Cone (MAA46002), Caribbean (MAA43001) and Latin Caribbean (MAA43002).