With a target goal of 294,655 vulnerable people to be reached in 2014, a total of 337,323 (114 percent) of the target was reached through programmes and services conducted by the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS), with the support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The programme cost was CHF 3,415,974 or 94 percent of the budget for the year which was CHF 3,639,121.
Guided by the aim to build community safety and resilience (CSR), accomplishments by the MRCS during 2014, revolved around disaster preparedness and response, community-based programming and delivery of services in disaster risk reduction (DRR), health and first aid, water and sanitation (WatSan), organizational development (OD), promotion of humanitarian values and advocacy. It further aimed to be more integrated and harmonized in its existing community-based programming across all sectors to support vulnerable communities, as spearheaded by the CSR project in Mon State whereby a technical team composed of programme coordinators across MRCS programme departments were leading the technical process using multi-sector approach. The respective MRCS programmes in DRR and community based health and first aid (CBHFA) also started to use a multi-sector process using their respective programmes as entry points. On CSR implementation in Mon State, what has been identified to ensure better integration is to start the multisector approach from the design phase and to conduct community assessment which will lead to good multisector planning and effective support of community interventions. This was realized through the regular coordination meetings among members of the CSR technical team. Although a need for a more standardized document for the conduct of a multi-sector integrated community assessment needs to be in place as a handy reference across all programmes, as an initial process, the result was encouragingly making good progress.
OD and national society development (NSD) highlights included the conduct of the 11th General Assembly of MRCS and the 73rd Central Council meeting on 9 and 10 July in Nay Pyi Taw where the Minister of the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced the new members of the Executive Council of MRCS. There are three full-time members that had been selected. Aside from the Supervisory Committee and G1s1 and 2ICs2 of MRCS at the branch level who attended the General assembly, 34 Red Cross youth delegates from 17 states/regions also attended the MRCS General Assembly, who also had participated in the Annual Youth meeting, organized by MRCS OD department on 10 July.
It was also during this reporting period that MRCS had a two-day Workshop on Strategic Plan development process conducted on 3 to 4 July in Nay Pyi Taw supported by the Asia Pacific zone office OD coordinator, IFRC Myanmar programme coordinator and Swedish Red Cross (Swedish RC) in-country planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (PMER) delegate. In this workshop tasking was done for the preparation of the next MRCS Strategy (2016 to 2020) among the participants (MRCS managers).
MRCS conducted a workshop on the preparation of its consolidated 2015 plan and budget on 23 and 24 September facilitated by MRCS Finance and OD departments with support from IFRC programme coordinator and Swedish RC PMER delegate.
In December, a second organizational capacity assessment and certification (OCAC) review was conducted internally by MRCS to determine how much had been accomplished from the plan of action that was made after the first OCAC process. This was followed with an OD/CB (capacity building) mapping exercise with Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners to determine gaps that would possibly be supported by the Movement partners.
MRCS has started advocacy for parliamentarians with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and IFRC heads of department in providing inputs. The first of its series was conducted in Yangon division in December with the aim to promote MRCS activities and its auxiliary role to the government.
In Rakhine State, MRCS Rakhine Special Operations, after being suspended due to unrest and attacks on aid agency offices in March 2014, was fully restarted in April 2014. In line with new Government requirements, and to improve transparency, MRCS started discussions with the established emergency coordination committee in Sittwe over the (re)start of new projects – especially livelihoods and mobile health clinics. An important factor is that all new projects need to aim for a ‘balanced approach’, between both Muslim and Rakhine beneficiaries – in order to reduce tensions within the Rakhine community. On the other hand in Kachin, after some discussions, MRCS decided on the appropriate management structure and staffing for a new Kachin Special Operations office in the state capital Myitkyina, which was formally started in September. IFRC and ICRC are supporting MRCS in implementing the identified activities in the area.
Specific performance on the delivery of services by MRCS are provided in the table below which reflect a generally good performance during the period against the targets set for every activity to reach the respective goals.