Marshall Islands

Republic of the Marshall Islands: Drought Emergency appeal n° MDRMH001 final report

Situation Report
Originally published
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Period covered by this Final Report: 21 June 2013 – 30 March 2014

Appeal target (current): CHF 409,154

Appeal coverage: 89 %

Appeal history:

  • A revised Emergency Appeal was launched on 20 December 2013, revising down the budget to CHF 409,154 to assist 1,529 beneficiaries in three drought-affected atolls/islands with a time extension of an additional three months (up to March 2014).

  • On 31 August 2013, the first operation update was issued.

  • This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 21 June 2013 for CHF 803,347 for six months to assist 3,409 beneficiaries in 650 households on six atolls (Ailuk, Likiep, Maloelap, Mejit, Namu and Wotje) selected from the government response plan for the 15 drought-affected atolls.


This Emergency Appeal was launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in response to a request from the National Volunteer Group (NVG) of the Marshall Islands (now known as the Marshall Islands Red Cross Society (MIRCS)) and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Its aim was to support their response to a period of extended drought in the country affecting about 6,400 people across 15 atolls/islands north of the capital, Majuro.
The aim of the IFRC’s response operation was to assist communities in three atolls/islands (Namu, Likiep and Mejit) to recover following the drought and develop greater resilience to future droughts through:

  • Increased community capacity to collect, store and use water efficiently, by repairing and improving water supply schemes (e.g., catchments, tanks, and gutters);

  • Increased community participation in recording weather patterns, well water quantity / quality assessments and community education; and

  • Increased and equitable access to and involvement in identification and promotion of good sanitation and hygiene practices.

The operation was planned together with the Government’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and partners of the RMI Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Initiative (WASH) Cluster and conducted over an eight-month period. It was implemented by a small IFRC team comprising delegates, national staff and community mobilisers. A community-based approach was adopted, involving extensive consultation and participation with communities at all stages of planning and service delivery. It included engagement of volunteers from each community to support water catchment installations.
A major challenge for the operation was the low response to the Emergency Appeal. This resulted in a major revision to the overall plan, budget and staffing structure. Logistics also proved challenging, particularly the difficulties of transportation and communication with the remote, outer atolls/islands. Transportation time was measured in terms of days of travel by ship. Telecommunication depended on satellite phones. Good collaboration between the in-country humanitarian community (e.g., RMI government, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)/South Pacific Applied Secretariat of the Pacific Community Geoscience Commission (SOPAC), and the WASH Cluster) made a significant contribution to the overall success of the operation.
The operation reached a total of 1,764 beneficiaries (slightly higher than targeted) across the three atolls/islands. Major achievements included:

  • Conducting a detailed household level survey and beneficiary consultations to determine the key water and sanitation needs of the communities in each location.

  • Installing a total of 49 household tanks, 23 community tanks and making additional repairs to other household catchments as required.

  • Holding training sessions on catchment installation and maintenance with volunteers in each location.

  • Hosting hygiene promotion and water-related dissemination sessions with diverse groups in each community.

  • Supporting the official establishment of MIRCS which resulted in the adoption of the Red Cross Recognition Act by the RMI government, approval of the Constitution by the Joint Statutes Commission, the election of an Interim Committee and the recruitment and orientation of new volunteers, who were later mobilised to respond to a flood in the capital.

The emergency operation has been completed. As part of ensuring a smooth transition from IFRC to MIRCS for future response to emergencies, IFRC will continue to provide long term support for the National Society (NS). Two IFRC team members will remain in RMI to provide ongoing support and capacity building, not only for MIRCS, but also for two other NSs - Micronesia and Palau - as part of a wider north Pacific capacity building programme.