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Pacific region (MAA55001) Mid-Year Report 2012

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MAA55001

31 August 2012

This report covers the period 1 January to 30 June 2012.

Overview The Pacific region covers a vast geographical area which is extremely disaster prone and its populations are particularly vulnerable to environmentally-related hazards. Climate change is a concern to all Pacific nations and is recognized as a real threat to many countries. Public health is also a key issue, with about 75 per cent of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The ongoing global economic crisis has brought additional challenges with increasing unemployment, especially for the region’s young people. Almost half of the total population of the Pacific Islands is below 20 years of age.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies of the region are well positioned to play an increasingly significant role in times of disasters and in helping to meet the health and social challenges of the region. The focus of the IFRC plan for 2012 is to support national societies to be well-governing civil society leaders, delivering relevant programmes for vulnerable people.

Feedback on the performance of the regional office was sought during the closed session of the Pacific Secretaries General (SG) forum in April. There was overall positive feedback with regards to initiatives like the Pacific regional office newsletter, programming including HIV/AIDS and disaster risk management, coordination and support across the region which has generated government interest in Pacific national societies, and the high level of overall responsiveness to national societies’ needs by the IFRC. Areas identified that could be improved were the reinvigoration of the Pacific technical coordination group (eg. health), as well as IFRC support, both financial and technical, in the areas of external financial audit processes, which remains an ongoing issue for Samoa, Palau, Tuvalu, Kiribati.

In the community programming unit, the organizational development and finance development delegate ended their missions, which has placed additional pressure on the delegation to achieve the targets set out in the plan whilst waiting for their replacements to join the team.