Myanmar: Plan 2010-2011 (MAAMM002)

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Executive summary

The Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) continues to uphold its vision to facilitate community-based activities, led by volunteers - namely in community-based health programming and disaster risk management. The Cyclone Nargis recovery operation continues to be supported by the dedicated effort of MRCS staff and volunteers. This is mirrored in other projectbased work across the country and is a tribute to MRCS's continued commitment to deliver services to vulnerable groups. The promotion and investment in MRCS volunteers, who strongly represent the face of MRCS, will continue to be significant. This plan reflects the International Federation's support to strengthen MRCS programmes.

In the area of health and care, the MRCS continues to focus its attention on promoting the health status of vulnerable people and reducing their vulnerability by conducting a range of projects and programmes in various states and divisions of Myanmar. These include activities that will minimize the negative impact on community health in emergencies; reducing HIV vulnerability and its impact on at-risk communities; reducing malaria morbidity and mortality among vulnerable populations, and reduce TB transmission and its impact on communities with high defaulter rates. The MRCS will also continue to contribute to the national blood donor recruitment programme and provide first aid training to Red Cross volunteers as well as teachers and communities in target townships. Also, learning from the high investment into water and sanitation activities through the provision of support in the delta region, MRCS has signalled a commitment to develop a longer-term water, sanitation and hygiene promotion capacity. This is anticipated to take shape in the form of headquarters technical capacity building as well as the integration of water, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities in selected states and divisions.

Since the health forum in September 2007, the MRCS has continued to commit its efforts to move towards a programme approach, particularly in regard to community-based health promotion, HIV and AIDS, and first aid activities. MRCS has made some progress in this respect, including the formation of a technical working group to consider how to adopt the new community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) in action model, and move to a broader and more comprehensive approach to injury and disease prevention, and health promotion.

An overarching disaster management plan, which sets out support over the next three years, is being put in place. It will serve to help in the revision of the disaster management policy in 2010. Two key components of support have been outlined: The first, to strengthen MRCS organizational preparedness to respond to disasters. It focuses on continued warehouse maintenance, and stock pre-positioning and stock-keeping as well as enhancing the capacities of national society staff and volunteers. Complementary work will include the revision of the national disaster response teams (NDRT) training curriculum; more specialized training courses provided for national staff and volunteers in various areas such as health in emergencies, logistics, psychosocial support (PSP), and specific needs assessment capacities; as well as the equipping of identified staff and volunteers. 2009 has presented an opportunity to review MRCS disaster management activities and an initiation of integrated cross-sector planning at different levels. MRCS will further facilitate a disaster risk reduction (DRR) process, which will initially focus on a community-based disaster risk management (CBDRM) programme, utilizing experience from regionally adapted guidance materials and tools. There will be follow-up work for climate change adaptation after the climate change orientation workshop held in mid-2009.

The next year will continue to be significant for MRCS in how it manages to harness, and fold learning and increased technical skill into its existing portfolio of programming and further nurture the increased positive profile they have gained through the Cyclone Nargis response and recovery effort. Support for MRCS to grow into a stronger national society following the enormous relief and response effort to Nargis will continue to be a priority. Overall institutional capacity as well as organizational development will be tackled. Key areas for organizational development include further branch development, promotion of integration of youth and volunteers within community programming, financial and human resource development, and continued promotion of principles and values. 2009 is a key year for MRCS to outline how it will manage the balance of Cyclone Nargis and country-wide programming to its best advantage, and periodically review how investment into community activities can be maintained.

To support MRCS in its commitment to a number of targeted vulnerable communities, several partnerships will continue, focusing outside of the delta region. Key multilateral partners include Austrian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Japanese, Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross. The MRCS will also benefit from its longer-term bilateral relations with Danish Red Cross and French Red Cross as well as foster new bilateral partnerships with Australian Red Cross.

The budget for this plan is CHF 1,818,440 (USD 1.76 million or EUR 1.19 million) for 2010 and CHF 2,201,666 (USD 2.13 million or EUR 1.44 million) for 2011.