Programme(s) summary: Snow, wind and fire disasters have swept through Mongolia in the first half of the year, affecting thousands of people, causing the loss of lives and livelihoods across many regions. The Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) has a mandate to respond in natural disasters and assist affected people, especially those most vulnerable. The MRCS continues to build the capacities of its staff and volunteers in order to meet those needs. The past six months included training on communication for secretaries of the mid-level Red Cross branches, providing two trucks for the 'Gobi' region that was not involved in the hay project due to excessive drought, and herders' consultations were held in two branches. Radio programmes were developed jointly with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Mongolian National Radio focused on information about disaster prevention and the work of the Mongolian Red Cross.
On 11 April, the Mongolia Red Cross Society launched an HIV Operational Alliance for the next three years. This follows on the 2007 partner planning meeting in Beijing, during which the MRCS began outlining its three- year plan for scale-up of services under a management structure guided by the seven-ones(1). At the same time, the MRCS continued to implement the planned HIV/AIDS prevention activities that now fall under the alliance structure, including the Australian Red Cross funded bilateral project for peer education/targeted interventions for men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM), commercial sex workers, people living with HIV/AIDS, university students, and the media. In addition, a Japanese Red Cross funded bilateral project is continuing to establish voluntary counselling, testing, and treatment centres in selected provinces of Mongolia. The International Federation supported interventions for inmates and mid-level branch capacity building were also implemented in the first half of the year.
The first aid programme has continued to expand in its trainings and reach, especially after conducting a survey on the practical usage of first aid in accident victims. This was enlightening for the MRCS in finding gaps in first aid knowledge amongst community members. The social care programme continues to serve the needs of some of the most vulnerable populations in Mongolia, including the elderly, disabled, and the migrant populations in urban areas. The voluntary blood donation programme continues to promote voluntary blood donation and has started a number of Donor 25 Clubs to get youths involved.
Organizational development is still a high priority of the national society, in governance and management issues, as well as finance development. And the promotion of humanitarian values continues, especially through the publication of the MRCS newsletter called 'The Humanity.'
Financial situation: The total (2008) budget is CHF 1,114,011 (USD 1,042,410 or EUR 684,559), of which 51 percent is covered. Expenditure overall was 21 percent.
No. of people we help: Estimated beneficiaries of the MRCS's programmes throughout Mongolia number 190,000, which is approximately eight percent of the population. This includes direct beneficiaries, both of International Federation and bilateral funded activities such as trainings and targeted activities, as well as the indirect beneficiaries receiving information and/or participating in activities, through the media, newspapers such as those related to HIV/AIDS and humanitarian values.
Our partners: The MRCS is working with over 40 partners including: Australian Red Cross, New Zealand Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Department for International Development (DFID), Japanese Red Cross, Republic of Korea Red Cross, British Red Cross, German Red Cross, the Red Cross Society of China, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the World Health Organization (WHO), Ministry of Health, National Blood Centre, Blood Donor Agency, Ulaanbaatar City Governor, Youth for Health NGO, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), National Centre for Communicable Disease (NCCD), and National Journalists Association/Journalists Union, Deseret International Charities, Mongolian National Radio and Television Broadcasting Agency, Mongolian Educational Channel, local prison authorities, National Youth Association, National Students Union, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, University of Agriculture, National Centre for Diseases with Natural Foci, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor, Traffic Authority, Border/Customs Control, local health departments, traffic police, the National AIDS Foundation (NAF), the National AIDS Committee (NAC), the National Voluntary Counselling and Testing VCT Working Group, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).