East Africa Regional Programmes Appeal no. 05AA007 Programme Update No. 1

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In Brief

Appeal no. 05AA007; Programme Update no. 1, Period covered: January to June 2005; Appeal coverage: 64.7%; Outstanding needs: CHF 1,004,200 (USD 784,531 or EUR 648,708). (See below).

Appeal target: CHF 2,845,779 (USD 2,260,300 or EUR 1,833,000); This programme update revised the budget from CHF 2,845,779 to CHF 2,407,571 to remove the C-project. Click here to go to the revised budget. Adjusted Appeal coverage: 76.5%; Adjusted outstanding needs: CHF 565,992 (USD 442,181 or EUR 365,628).

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: N/A

Programme summary: The unforeseen tsunami-related operations dominated the planning and operational agenda of the East Africa regional delegation, and particularly that of the Seychelles Red Cross and the Somalia Red Crescent, during the reporting period. However, the review of the structures of the support services, the corresponding activities carried out, the various measures implemented and the support given to the operational challenges concerning Sudan and to the institutional processes in Burundi and in Madagascar, have appeared as priorities during the reporting period.

Operational developments

The immense tsunami waves which were created by an underwater earthquake outside the island of Sumatra, in Indonesia, on Monday 26 December 2004 also crossed the full length of the Indian Ocean and created severe disasters in the Eastern Africa region. Most of the Indian Ocean islands were hit by the tsunami waves, with Seychelles experiencing substantial damage. On the African continent three -metre waves struck the coast of Puntland, Somalia, resulting in loss of human life, homes and sources of livelihood. The waves also struck the coastal areas of Kenya and Tanzania, leading to evacuations from the beaches and directly impacting on fishing communities.

The ensuing and unplanned response on regional, sub-regional and country level tsunami operations completely dominated the agenda of the regional delegation and the East Africa National Societies, particularly the Seychelles and Somalia during the first three months of the year. After the initial relief recovery phase, priority in the period between April and June was to develop activity plans based on the Nairobi Initiative, by which all National Societies in the region identified regional priorities that provided a basis for a consolidated regional plan. The consolidated plan, until 2010, was developed together with the Red Cross Red Crescent Network for East Africa (RC-Net) disaster management (DM) sub-committee and with complimentary technical support from colleagues in Geneva.

Although the additional workload has been formidable, the challenges posed by the tsunami have given the Federation, the National Societies and partners in the region new and very valuable insight into the importance of Movement cooperation in Eastern Africa. The Tsunami clearly highlighted gaps in National Societies' disaster preparedness plans and i n adequacy of capacities to respond timely to disasters. It also underlined the need of National Societies, ICRC, partner national societies and the Federation to work together as a Movement, not only in dealing with unprecedented disasters, but also to establish Movement cooperation framework models to be utilised more widely.

The enormous international solidarity displayed in the aftermath of the deadly waves gave Eastern Africa the opportunity to focus on the many and huge disasters affecting the region, resulting in human suffering on a daily basis. The many disasters clearly justify the statement, "each year several tsunamis happen in this region". The disasters include: the millions needing assistance in Sudan; the millions internally displaced by civil unrest in the north of Uganda; millions affected by drought in Eritrea; and several other regular disasters affecting poor and vulnerable communities with no resources to recuperate without time-bound external assistance. With the exception of the emergency responses in Somalia and the Seychelles, most of the tsunami related planning focused on disaster preparedness, both in terms of health preparedness and prevention, stocks, early warning of sudden disasters and community based risk reduction, vulnerability and capacity assessments (VCAs) included. The tsunami regional plan, with a time perspective until 2010 and detailed per activity and location, has been endorsed by the Hong Kong meeting in March 2005. The plan provides a unique platform for strengthening National Societies to deal better with frequent disasters.

In spite of the focus on tsunami-related activities and planning, the regional delegation was able o t provide continued and effective support to the many operational and institutional challenges faced by member National Societies. Support was particularly given to Sudan, Madagascar and Burundi. Assisted by the Federation and with remarkable success, the Burundi Red Cross Society conducted its first General Assemblyin 7 May 2005. ICRC and sister National Societies attended.

Undoubtedly, the regional delegation was forced to give many of its planned activities less priority during the reporting period. Nonetheless, a review of the regional delegation's activities over the last six months shows that her t e was consistency with the activities planned for in the 2005 Annual Appeal. Although a few new positions have been created to deal with the new challenges of the tsunami-related activities, the regional delegation's senior management team has taken the brunt of the extra work. The East Africa regional delegation, like other sections of t he Federation, has realised how the urgent need for competent staff in the Asia/Pacific tsunami operation has provided job opportunities for very qualified staff from the region, reducing its operational capacity in East Africa. Whilst serious recruiting difficulties continue to challenge the regional team, measures are being put in place to eliminate the threat of serious stress -related ailments in the regional delegation.

Health and care

Goal: Support National Societies in the region to contribute towards sustainable improvement of overall health of vulnerable communities through provision of quality community based health care programmes.

Objective: Support National Societies in the region and consequently vulnerable communities to address their public health needs in a sustainable manner using ARCHI strategy, while at the same time building upon the capacities of National Societies to rapidly and effectively address public health needs in emergencies (preparedness and response).

Progress/Achievements

Technical support to National Societies

Together with Geneva public health unit, the WatSan unit has been involved in the development of participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation (PHAST) guidance notes and toolkit for Red Cross water and sanitation programming for safe water and sanitation.

The WatSan unit o f the regional delegations is reviewing and updating the booklet "Food for people living with HIV and AIDS" to include nutritional information, especially information relevant to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment; ensuring appropriate design and illustrations to make the booklet reader-friendly, and contextualized to East African region. This will be a key resource for National Societies and groups of people implementing HIV/AIDS related nutrition programmes, especially those inclusive of ARV treatment, in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

The HIV team reviewed the draft HIV/AIDS peer education curriculum of the Red Cross Society of Eritrea and sent input to the National Society for further development of the document.

The regional health and care unit has provided support in reviewing the terms of reference for the evaluation of the Rwandan HIV/AIDS programme. Draft terms of reference have also been developed for the documentation of lessons learnt from the Uganda Red Cross Society community home-based care programmes (CHBCP).

The programme officer-software and the medical advisor evaluated the Red Crescent Society of Djibouti integrated health project and the HIV/AIDS corridor programme.

The programme officer-software did a mission to Somaliland to prepare for an end of project impact assessment for the German Red Cross WatSan health project.

Several meetings were held with the chairperson of the RC-Net health and care working group.

Mobilizing of resources for National Societies

In conjunction with the National Societies of Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda and PNS, the regional delegation submitted a total of three multilateral preliminary bids for WatSan to the European Union (EU). The proposals have a holistic approach to community health needs; HIV/AIDS, health and livelihoods components.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have completed their proposals for access to anti-retroviral treatment (ART), and are currently working on a resource mobilization strategy.

WatSan integration

A concept has been developed for the integration of PuR™ safe water initiative into home-based care programmes in selected countries in the region. Initial meetings were held with Kenya Red Cross Society to agree upon the work plan, budget and implementation of the initiative in Kisumu and Siaya Branches of Kenya Red Cross Society. This pilot project aims to contribute to a reduction in the incidence of waterborne diseases amongst targeted persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Information, education and communication (IEC) materials for the PuR™ initiative have already been developed by an artist.

The regional delegation Nairobi WatSan team contributed to the development of the WatSan proposal to be included in the Lake Victoria Initiative which covers Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The team was specifically involved in the last leg of the field visit that covered towns in Nyanza and Western provinces of Kenya.

Developing/promoting strategic partnership

The two WatSan officers attended the six-day Global WatSan meeting in Dubai where experiences and considerable networking was done.

Three interns from a local public university were interviewed and short-listed to provide support for the nutrition, food security and health aspects within the health care and support unit (HCSU),for a period of 3 months each. One intern has been on board since March, while the other 2 joined in May.

The regional delegation participated in the Network of African people living with HIV/AIDS (NAP+) board meeting held from 14 to 17 February in Nairobi. The meeting had a session to discuss progress of the NAP+/RDN partnership and the way forward for 2005-2006. The partners will explore undertaking joint missions on reduction of stigma and discrimination and on treatment literacy for relevant countries in the region. A handbook, 'Guidelines on PLHIV involvement in the country co-ordinating mechanisms' has been launched. It provides guidelines to ensure that PLWHA concerns and issues are addressed as fully as possible in the countries where the Global Fund is working.

HCSU continued its engagement in the regional inter-agency working group on HIV/AIDS in emergencies. A workshop was organized by the group with the objectives: To identify key areas in which the regional group can provide support for a strengthened response to HIV/AIDS in emergencies; to outline how and in which areas this support might be provided and incorporated into a work plan for the regional group; and,t o provide the basis for an advocacy position paper.

The regional HIV/AIDS partnership officer made a presentation on the policy on orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) during a meeting of the Society of Women against AIDS in Africa (SWAA) held in Uganda. The meeting provided opportunity to share the Federation guidelines on OVC, and learn from experiences of organizations implementing OVC work. SWAA is already working in partnership with the Rwandan Red Cross in the development of memory books as part of psycho-social support for OVC.

Support to RDRT

A PHAST toolkit for the Kwale branch of Kenya Red Cross Society was developed as an adaptation from the standard one. This is one of the by-products of t en -day PHAST training for the Kenya Red Cross Society which was conducted by the WatSan team in line with the National Society's drought operation. Community members, Ministry of Water officers and branch volunteers participated in the training. The toolkit developed will be used in the subsequent community level trainings to be conducted by the trainees.

Technical support was given to the Red Cross Society of Eritrea upon request by the National Society and the Federation representative. The regional delegation in Nairobi (RDN) WatSan team joined a team from the Red Cross Society of Eritrea, the Ministry of Water and Agriculture and the Swedish Red Cross to undertake a technical assessment in order to define site-specific activities for the drought response.

A multi-sectoral team comprising of the WatSan unit, the Somali delegation health coordinator and an information officer from the Uganda Red Cross Society conducted a review of the situation on the ground following the tsunami which hit the coastal parts of Somalia. Key findings indicate deplorable health conditions of the affected communities, poor sanitation, contaminated water, and different household items rotting under the rubbles, posing breeding ground for a host of water and vector borne diseases. Somali Red Crescent Society volunteers had been involved in active mobilization of the communities in clean up campaigns and were at a risk owing to clearing debris without personal protection.

The multi-sectoral team has attended several tsunami planning meetings, and has written narrative proposals, budgets and logical frameworks.

The RDN WatSan team participated in the Tanzania Red Cross National Society's initial assessment of the floods which affected 20,000 people in Zanzibar after heavy rains in the middle of April. The assessment was carried under the leadership of the Tanzania Red Cross National Society headquarters relief department and the field operators from the Tanzania Red Cross National Society's Zanzibar branch. It was well coordinated by the local and national authorities, strongly supported by UNDP and several local NGOs.

Implementation of workplace HIV/AIDS policies

A workshop on the HIV/AIDS workplace programme for the French-speaking National Societies was conducted in Kigali towards the end of the reporting period.

Integration of HC components into food security

The WatSan team worked on an evaluation tool for a faster approach to PHAST in order to establish a checklist for health and relief workers in emergencies. The tool was also shared with delegates during the 2005 WatSan global meeting in Dubai.

Constraints

Monitoring and evaluation training planned for the Kenya Red Cross Kajiado integrated project could not be undertaken in January because the branch had not started implementing PHAST in the project area. The timing was not appropriate as volunteers had no hands-on experience in PHAST training.

Adequate financial resources still need to be mobilised for the HCSU. Furthermore, Partner National Societies (PNS) are engaging more directly with the National Societies to the detriment of multi-lateral cooperation.

The many recent natural disasters in the region; the tsunami, droughts and floods, required more involvement of the WatSan team of the RDN health and care unit than foreseen during planning. The tsunami follow-up has particularly been demanding.

Networks and partnerships are still at a personal level, and need to be institutionalized through written agreements.

Although HIV/AIDS is a priority in the Algiers plan of action, it is not always getting the attention it deserves. It is often seen as an issue to be dealt with by the health professionals, whereas it should be treated as a cross-cutting issue.

Disaster management

Goal: To build the capacities of the National Societies at regional, sub-regional and country levels to predict and prevent disasters, to mitigate their impact and to respond and cope with their consequences.

Objectives: To strengthen and support appropriate National Society capacities to provide quality response to common disasters facing the region (food security, political disturbances and population movements, cyclones and seasonal floods) and the lack of disaster policy plans and vulnerability and capacity assessments.

Progress/Achievements

Food security

The position of food security officer for the Horn of Africa sub-region was advertised in Kenya. The recruitment exercise has reached the final stage.

Contingency planning for political disturbances and population movements

In April,the DM department participated in the UNOCHA led inter-agency biannual scenario development meeting for the Horn of Africa.

A regional interagency contingency planning exercise based on an East African tsunami scenario was organized by the regional delegation in early June, with the interagency working group for emergency preparedness. This led to clearly defined agency disaster response mandates and capacities.

Floods and cyclones preparedness

The region responded quickly to the Indonesian earthquake that struck on 28 March at 17.09 GMT; 19.09 Kenya Standard Time. The head of the regional delegation Nairobi was informed and wit hin 90 minutes of the first call, National Societies of Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros and the French Red Cross's Indian Ocean regional disaster response platform ( PIROI) (1) in Reunion had been put on alert. The National Societies were able to quickly communicate with their government counterparts and their branches on the coast.

In Somalia, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Somalia news service was contacted and the Somali Red Crescent Society secretary general was interviewed concerning the need for communities to be aware of the risk and take preventive action. The regional delegation also communicated with the regional and Somalia offices of UNOCHA while closely collaborating with UN agencies.

The rapid response to fears of another tsunami resulting from the recent Indonesian earthquake by all concerned was attributed to the experience of the December 26 Tsunami, the 18 January learning review in Nairobi and the commitment to early warning and disaster preparedness in the en t -point "Nairobi Initiative". There was no report of damage or casualties.

In collaboration with PIROI, the regional delegation closely monitored the tropical storm "Hennie". The storm passed near Mauritius causing heavy rainfall but no damage or casualties.

Footnote:

(1)In French : Plate-forme d'intervention régionale pour l'ocean Indien

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Kenya: Anitta Underlin, Head of Regional Delegation, Nairobi; Email: ifrcke03@ifrc.org; Phone: +254.20.283.51.24; Fax: +254.20.271.84.15.

In Geneva: Amna Al Ahmar, Federation Regional Officer for East Africa, Africa Dept.; Email amna.alahmar@ifrc.org; Phone +41.22.730.44.27; Fax +41.22.733.03.95

This Programme Update reflects activities to be implemented over a one-year period. This forms part of, and is based on, longer-term, multi-year planning (refer below to access the detailed logframe documents). All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Responsei n delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the National Society profile, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

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