Pacific Region Appeal No. 01.40/2002 Annual Report

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Appeal No. 01.40/2002;
Appeal Target: CHF 1,193,625;
Appeal coverage: 117%

Overall analysis of the programme

No major political events took place in the region, but a considerable level of tension continued in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (PNG), constraining socio-economic development. There were several disasters in the region, including cyclones, tidal waves, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The Pacific region's National Societies (NSs) focused on capacity building through training, meetings and workshops at national and regional levels, and participated actively in the Asia Pacific Red Cross conference in Manila. The so-called 'Manila Action Plan' will guide the NSs in the coming years, especially in the areas of health and HIV/AIDS, disaster management and population movement.

Objectives, Achievements and Constraints

Disaster Response

Achievements:

The regional delegation (RD) continued its regular monitoring, providing early warning to NSs in the region. It also provided technical assistance to national societies during emergencies, which included cyclone Waka in Tonga, cyclone Mitag in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and earthquakes and floods in Vanuatu. The Japanese Red Cross-funded disaster preparedness (DP) relief container programme proved its effectiveness during several emergencies in the region.

In July, typhoon Chata'an hit the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. The RD facilitated the deployment of a New Zealand Red Cross (NZRC) field assessment delegate and contributed CHF 30,000 in disaster relief emergency funds (DREF) to the relief efforts. The FSM Red Cross also received assistance from the neighbouring Palau RC and Saipan RC branch.

The Tuvalu RC assisted tidal wave evacuees by providing temporary shelter, while the Samoa Red Cross provided cooking sets, tarpaulins and blankets to fire victims.

During the last days of the year, tropical cyclone Zoe passed over remote islands belonging to the Solomon Islands, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The RD released emergency funding to support the Solomon Islands Red Cross in the initial assessment. The relief operation itself took place during the first days of 2003 and will be reported separately.

Disaster Preparedness

Objective 1: To improve the capacity of National Societies in emergency management and programme planning and implementation.

Achievements:

The report of the 2001 Pacific Regional DP programme review was finalized and distributed to all key partners.

The regional emergency management workshop held in October was the first integrated workshop organized jointly by the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation and the American Red Cross in the Pacific. It provided the opportunities of harmonizing within the three technical areas of disaster preparedness, disaster response and conflict preparedness/response. A set of 19 harmonization-training modules was introduced to staff members and volunteers of the NSs. Follow-up workshops at the national level in at least three NSs will be conducted during 2003.

A disaster management planning workshop was carried out in the Federated States of Micronesia in January 2002, where the FSM RC drafted its first disaster management plan. Disaster management was also included in general strategic planning exercises in Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.

Objective 2: To conduct vulnerability and capacity assessment in five National Societies, and assist all NSs in the Pacific to have updated disaster management plans by the end of 2003.

Achievements:

Vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) was introduced to National Societies as part of a regional workshop and during the DP review in May 2002. Three representatives of National Societies from the region attended a VCA training of trainers (ToT) course. VCA training is expected to continue throughout 2003. A country-based workshop is scheduled for the Solomon Islands in early 2003.

The Palau and Kiribati Red Cross Societies were supported in the creation of disaster management plans, while the Fiji and Tonga Red Cross Societies revised and updated their existing plans. The PNG Red Cross drafted and completed its disaster management (DM) plan in collaboration with the Federation's country delegation in March 2002. Micronesia Red Cross also drafted its DM plan during a planning workshop in January 2002.

Rather than completing DM plans in all NSs, the focus shifted to improving the existing ones, making them workable and easily accessible.

Objective 3: To assist all the National Societies in improving their logistics and warehousing systems to allow a quick and efficient release of pre-positioned emergency relief stock to the population most in need when disasters strike.

Achievements:

Three national societies, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu Red Cross Societies, received support for the maintenance, repair and replenishment of relief items for existing DP containers.

A database of all pre-positioned emergency relief items under National Societies' management was updated, and the quarterly stock reports were shared with relevant partners including the Japanese Red Cross. A review of the DP programme was carried out, with recommendations for the future. A separate report is available.

Information about location of, contact person for and relief items of all 54 DP containers was updated regularly (see summary table below):

National Society
No. of DP Containers
National Society
No. of DP Containers
Cook Islands
2
PNG
16
Fiji
14
Samoa
5
FSM
3
Solomon Islands
4
Kiribati
2
Tonga
2
Marshall Islands
1
Tuvalu
2
Palau
1
Vanuatu
2
Total Number of DP Containers in the Pacific
54

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