In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.
This programme update focuses on the work of the team in the new Asia Pacific zone office to provide leadership and guidance to International Federation efforts to increase the impact of Asia Pacific national societies' humanitarian activities. Societies throughout the region, often with the support of partner national societies and other organisations, have continued to respond to multiple disasters, as well as to scale up their efforts to carry out programmes in line with the commitments in the International Federation's Global Agenda.
Notable achievements in the first six months of the year have included:
- Rapid and large-scale response to the natural disasters that struck Myanmar and China, as well as a smaller-scale one in the Philippines;
- Preparation and launching of multi-country global HIV alliances in East and Southeast Asia (and Pacific in August 2008);
- Continuing effective response to the chronic emergencies in Afghanistan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Timor Leste;
- Implementation of extensive disaster recovery operations in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the ongoing tsunami programmes in Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand;
- Operational alliance for community development programme in Nepal, and the intensified capacity building fund grant for the Red Cross Society of China (temporarily on hold due to the earthquake operation);
- Relevance of IDRL promotion in the Myanmar operation, and new IDRL projects being launched in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam;
- Organisation by the Zone Office of a meeting in February of all regional technical programme delegates (disaster management, health and care, organisational development, and planning monitoring evaluation and reporting, from the four Asia Pacific regions), to promote working as a zone, cross-regional working, and integrated programme approaches;
- Finalising of zone office structure and building of consolidated Federation secretariat team across Asia Pacific.
The first half of 2008 saw the establishment of several new units within the Asia Pacific zone office in Kuala Lumpur, including: communications and knowledge sharing; International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles (IDRL); human resources; security; and resource mobilization and planning monitoring evaluation and reporting. A zone disaster management coordinator has also been appointed. With the addition of these functions, the zone office is able to provide more comprehensive support and services to the regional and country offices, and national societies in the zone.
Financial situation: The total 2008 budget is CHF 1,355,144 (USD 1.3 million or EUR 829,000), of which 44 per cent covered. Expenditure overall was 30 per cent. It should be noted that most of the staffing and running costs of the zone office are covered by core secretariat funding.
See also Asia Pacific 0809 Appeal, and the regional and country programme updates covering the period January-June 2008.
Number of people we help: The Asia Pacific zone office provides support to the 37 national societies, four Federation secretariat regional offices and 14 country offices in the Asia Pacific region, to help strengthen their capacity to deliver more extensive and effective humanitarian services to vulnerable groups.
Our partners: Within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, there is close cooperation with many partner national societies and with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supporting national societies throughout the Asia Pacific region. In addition, there are partnerships with many external organisations at all levels (community, national and regional levels), community-based, national and international organizations, UN, and other developmental agencies. The zone office would like to specially thank the following partner national societies which have contributed this year in cash or kind to the Asia Pacific zone appeal: Australian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross