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Asia: Earthquakes & Tsunami Emergency Appeal No. 28/2004 Operations Update No. 64

Attachments

Period covered by this Operations Update: July 2008 to December 2008

Appeal target (as per Tsunami emergency and recovery revised plan and budget 2004- 2010 issued in 31 March 2008): CHF 691.3 million (USD 623.6 million or EUR 431.6 million)

Appeal coverage: 98% .

Summary

Indonesia: Entering the fifth year of the operation, the International Federation's contribution towards the recovery of the community in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (Aceh) and Nias Island of North Sumatra province in support of Indonesian Red Cross (Palang Merah Indonesia/PMI) progresses steadily. Some partner national societies (PNS) have exited the operation and some are transitioning to a longer-term development programme. The International Federation and its members strive to ensure minimum risks and sustainability of impact are enjoyed by the host national society as well as the community. Hence, the effort to formulate a proper exit strategy continues as a high priority.

Through the community-based first aid (CBFA) project, the International Federation continued its assistance towards PMI in the efforts of increasing the awareness of 39 village communities' awareness on health and hygiene practices in Nias district. In the districts of Aceh Barat, Aceh Barat Daya, Bireuen, and Nagan Raya, the water and sanitation project has completed while project activities in Nias continues in 12 sub-districts.

In disaster management, the emergency radio communication system continues to be refined through the repair and upgrading of equipments to serve during disaster response and emergencies, while the disaster preparedness containers located in 18 branches of Aceh and two branches of Nias gives PMI response capacity.

The provision of an office building for PMI also continues, as does the effort to improve its human resources management, and to increase capacity in volunteer management and resource development.

Sri Lanka: The International Federation continues its large-scale operation in Sri Lanka as it approaches the fourth year commemoration of the earthquake and tsunami which struck in 2004. During the last six months, three partner national societies have completed their tsunami projects and are exiting/transitioning to support for longer-term development programmes. The International Federation and its members are currently focusing on exit strategies and processes to manage the risks and sustainability for Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and the communities.

The International Federation and its partners have committed to construct 31,761 houses from which 21,710 houses have been completed by the end of 2008, both with the donor-driven and owner-driven modalities. Out of these, 10,847 houses have been built by the International Federation/SLRCS with multilateral funding. Construction activities have been one of the key tasks of the International Federation/SLRCS in Sri Lanka as a response to the tsunami.

Having undergone a comprehensive and consultative strategic planning process, followed by a revision and elaboration of concrete programme plans, SLRCS is in its final stages of completing its five-year strategic plan 2008-2012. The International Federation's support in organizational development is focused in ensuring that SLRCS has the adequate organizational structures, policies and procedures, capacities, skills and resources to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in Sri Lanka. High-quality service delivery mechanisms, along with a good public image, are the main goals sought with these objectives.

Maldives: Four years after the tsunami, the physical and intangible achievements of the massive the International Federation's recovery operation in the Maldives are clearly evident. The final 562 houses - on Raa Dhuvaafaru Island, which is the largest single Red Cross Red Crescent construction project in the Maldives - were completed and handed over to beneficiary families in December 2008.

With the above, the majority of construction and specified utilities projects in the Maldives are largely complete. However, some few works still remain - specifically construction of roads, a sports facility, a waste management centre and installation of a supplementary water supply system on Dhuvaafaru, host community appreciation projects on five islands of Raa Atoll, and management of defect liability periods. These remaining projects will be implemented during 2009, leading to the closure of the International Federation's tsunami operation in the Maldives at the end of 2009.

During the period under review, the American Red Cross continued undertaking works related to the connection of individual household septic tanks on Kaafu Maafushi, Kaafu Guraidhoo, and Dhaalu Kudahuvadhoo to the waste water collection and disposal systems handed over by the International Federation.

In view of Maldives being one of the few countries in the world without a national society, efforts have also been put on ensuring that a Maldivian Red Crescent is duly recognized and well functioning. A Red Crescent bill was submitted to the Maldivian parliament in late 2008, indicating that a new national society will come into existence during 2009. The Maldivian Red Crescent will, among other activities, put effort on enhancing disaster risk reduction approaches in order to promote community resilience against potential future disasters.

Thailand: The International Federation tsunami recovery programme in Thailand ended in December 2007. However, at the request of the Thai Red Cross, three key areas of support are provided multilaterally through the International Federation in 2008/09: organizational development, disaster management and coordination, based on issues identified or experiences gained during the tsunami recovery operation. In light of coordination, the International Federation provides coordination support to participating national societies, particularly American Red Cross and Finnish Red Cross.

Despite political upheaval and civil unrest in the country, the International Federation continues to work closely with the Thai Red Cross bureaux to support the ongoing activities throughout this reporting period.

India: The tsunami recovery programme in India is being implemented by the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) - with support from the International Federation Secretariat, American Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross - at the national and state levels, primarily in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The overall programme progressed well during the reporting period, with major expenditures still being taken up by the IRCS. During this period, the International Federation Secretariat worked towards a donor-wise delivery of tents to the IRCS regional warehouses (following the release of a purchase order for the procurement of 12,000 tents from an identified supplier). The process of delivering tents began in September 2008, with delivery of the American Red Cross funded ones (to the IRCS warehouse in Arakonam, Tamil Nadu) being the first to be completed.

Bangladesh: Following the 2004 tsunami, the cyclone preparedness programme (CPP), one of the components of the disaster management programme, has initiated better preparedness within high-risk communities including women at household levels in 11 cyclone-prone districts. The CPP has been working in the coastal area for the past 35 years.

The ongoing activities of CPP have been successful in reaching large numbers of the most vulnerable around the coastal belt areas of Bangladesh, creating awareness and empowering communities to be better prepared in responding and coping with disasters such as tsunamis and cyclones. The wide acceptance of the large volunteer base at the community level has supported the programme by enabling it to reach its objective through reducing the risks related to tsunami- and cyclone-prone people in facing such disasters.

The primary challenges or constraints were related to delays in internal financial management, and lengthy and time consuming administrative procedures, which hampered the timely implementation of planned activities.

Somalia: Insecurity within Somalia continued to be the major threat to implementation of programme activities. Several cases of killings and kidnapping of humanitarian aid workers were reported during the period under review. Though Red Cross Red Crescent staff was not directly affected, this situation contributed to limited technical support by International Federation Somalia delegation's staff based in Nairobi, Kenya. It was not helped by the post-election crisis in Kenya - which also limited movement of staff from Nairobi.

Seychelles: Although the Seychelles Red Cross Society, has become a major player in disaster management and response in the country since the tsunami of 2004, the economic downturn partially linked to the floating of the Seychelles rupee is having an impact on planned activities as fund raising possibilities are limited. Delays in construction due to management issues (in the early stages of the tsunami recovery programme), as well as rising costs meant insufficient available funding. Construction plans have been revised and given priority over other disaster management and health activities such as CBFA and blood donor recruitment. The preliminaries for the construction began in 2008. The national society's application for Intensive Capacity Building (ICB) has been approved. This will entail greater branch development as well as vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) activities around the country.

Glossary of terms:

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (International Federation): refers to the Secretariat and all member National Societies collectively. The term Red Cross Red Crescent is used interchangeably with International Federation. Note that both these terms are different from "the Movement", which denotes the whole International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in addition to the International Federation secretariat and member national societies.

Secretariat: refers to the coordinating entity which represents the International Federation's members. In the tsunami recovery operation - like in many other operations - the secretariat also performs an operational role. For the purpose of global reporting, the secretariat must report income, expenditure and the programme results of its operations in the field. The figures for income received represent the contributions of many member national societies and other public and private donors to the secretariat's tsunami appeal.

Host National Society: refers to the National Society of the country where the recovery operation is taking place