Until recently, Maldives was one of the few countries in the world without a Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society. This changed on 16 August 2009 when the first General Assembly of the Maldivian Red Crescent was held, signalling its institutional formation. Nevertheless, the Red Cross Red Crescent has been present in the country since early 2005, implementing projects to meet the needs of communities affected by the tsunami of 26 December 2004.
The new National Society will begin by implementing an interim development plan - approved by the first General Assembly - that will enable it to develop services supported by appropriate structures, systems and capacity. The goal is to ensure that by the time it holds its third General Assembly in 2011, Maldivian Red Crescent will have fulfilled the 10 conditions for recognition by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and simultaneously become a fully-fledged member of the International Federation. To attain this goal, the Maldivian Red Crescent must undertake a nationwide programme to build local self-sustaining services, supported by a branch and organizational development to ensure that it starts with a sound foundation upon which it can build to deliver services. As such, its interim development plan has been structured into five interlinked components: programme development, leadership development, institutional capacity development, external affairs development and branch development.
At this initial stage of development, the Maldivian Red Crescent will require a balance of support from locally raised sources, which are likely to gather more momentum over time, and supplementary support from partners. However, even as early external support comes in, the National Society will put in place and start implementing an in-country resource mobilization strategy. This will enable it to gradually build up an income level matching its 'normal' future cost. It is expected that by the end of 2011, the new National Society will have built up its income- generating and cost-reducing mechanisms, thus ensuring a sustainable organization from the outset.
The International Federation Maldivian country plan 2010-2011 is in line with the Maldivian Red Crescent Development Plan 2009-2011, Millennium Development Goals, and the newly adopted Strategy 2020 which seeks to benefit all who look to the International Federation to help to build a more humane, dignified and peaceful world.
The total budget for 2010 is CHF 1,069,555 (USD 1,028,880 or EUR 707,332). A significant part of the budget reflects initial time-concentrated investments needed to develop the new Maldivian Red Crescent into a functioning National Society within a relatively short period that is providing quality and timely services to its communities.
During 2010, the Maldivian Red Crescent is targeting to reach approximately 10,000 semi-urban households as well as various community groups. Initially the National Society will recruit volunteers - from within its communities - who will be directly involved in programming and unit/branch development. The National Society's development plan aims to train more than 600 volunteers in areas such as community-based first aid activities, conducting vulnerability and capacity assessments, promoting voluntary non-remunerated blood donation and conducting excessive substance use awareness campaigns. These newly trained volunteers will provide the core of Red Crescent led interventions through community outreach activities in the nation's islands.
Considering that the new National Society is at the beginning of its first development cycle, an early review of implementation will be conducted at the end of the first quarter of 2010 to measure progress against the interim development plan. The outcome of the review will inform a revision of the plan and budget as well as development of the National Society's strategic development plan.