Nepal Appeal No. 01.55/2003 Programme Update No. 2


Appeal No. 01.55/2003
Appeal Target: CHF 2,248,507
Programme Update No. 2
Period covered: June to November, 2003

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organisation and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information:

In Brief

Appeal coverage: 34%; See attached Contributions List for details.

Outstanding needs: CHF 1,492,380

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: Floods and Landslides 01.23/2002; South Asia Regional Programmes 01.58/2003 Programme Summary: During the reporting period, the Nepal Red Cross has provided humanitaria n assistance to those affected by the continuing armed conflict and to victims of floods and landslides during the 2003 monsoon season. The various community-based programmes have continued implementation according to plans and funding levels. The community development programme, the community-based first aid and the community-based disaster preparedness programme have increased the capacity of communities to respond to health risks and to natural disasters. During this year's flooding, communities, sub-branches and branches were able to respond quickly and effectively.

The breakdown of the 7-monthlong cease-fire in August has affected programme implementation to some extent. Support and monitoring visits to branches from headquarters had to be adjusted according to the security situation in some districts. However, it has been possible to implement many of the seminars and training workshops as planned within the various programmes.

The national society is taking up the challenge to adapt its programme activities and support its staff and volunteers to work in the conflict situation. Special seminars are being held for branches to strengthen their knowledge and practical understanding of international humanitarian law, the Movement's principles, security issues and management principles during the conflict situation. ICRC is supporting the society to develop emergency first aid activities in specially affected branches as well as supporting persons displaced by the conflict.

The Nepal Red Cross has finalised and published its fourth development plan covering a five-year period. Based on this plan, the society has initiated a cooperation agreement strategy process (CAS). The first step has been to ensure involvement from and ownership by branch, headquarters and governance levels of the society by learning from experiences of the past and formulating future strategies for cooperation and coordination. From early next year partners will be approached and involved in the process.

The newly appointed Federation representative began her mission in November. Her main tasks will be to support the national society in its coordination and donor liaison as well as in positioning itself within the new conflict environment by working closely with the ICRC dele gation in Nepal.

The low level of appeal funding has restricted the ambitions of the Nepal Red Cross especially in the areas of water and sanitation, and humanitarian values activities. In addition, the organisational development programme has not been able to implement many of its planned activities in areas such as finance management and gender awareness.

The Nepal Red Cross extends its thanks to the Swedish Red Cross and Swedish government, the Australian Red Cross, the British Department for International Development (DFID) and the OPEC fund, who are all major partners supporting the society through the Federation appeal. The national society would also like to thank all the bilateral partners who are supporting it to meet various objectives within the development plan. The major bilateral partners are the Japanese Red Cross Society, Belgian Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Swiss Red Cross, ICRC, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), GTZ and UNICEF Nepal.

Operational developments

The cease-fire which commenced in January collapsed in August following an unsuccessful third round of peace talks. Most of the districts are now affected by the conflict. However, there has not been a repeat of the large-scale armed encounters between the parties as in 2002. There have instead been a regular series of small conflicts. Reports of the death toll since the end of the ceasefire range between 900 and 1400. There are daily reports in the local media of killings and abductions of citizens. There are no immediate signs of a resolution between the parties. Various foreign embassies and some governmental donor agencies have urged the parties to resume negotiations. The political situation is fluid as major political parties are impatient for parliament, which was dissolved last year, to be restored. Due to the nature of the conflict, people in rural areas are the most affected and the number of internally displaced persons continues to increase. Exact numbers of internally displaced persons are ha
rd to establish due to the regular seasonal migration of workers.

The Nepal Red Cross is known as a neutral organisation among the general public. At this time it is essential for the society to continue to be respected by both parties of the conflict and ensure its position as a neutral and impartial institution at the community level. Refresher training of staff and volunteers from the branches is taking place with regards to the Movement's principles, international humanitarian law, tracing as well as other aspects of working in a conflict environment. Special programmes, such as emergency first aid and support to internally displaced persons, have been established to meet the new situation. With the close cooperation of the ICRC, the Nepal Red Cross is refocusing its strategy and programmes to adapt them to the conflict environment.

The 2003 monsoon was less intense than last year. However, 300 people died due to flooding and more than 10,000 families were affected by natural disasters in various parts of the country. The Nepal Red Cross supported the flood and landslide victims from its internally mobilised resources. Altogether the society distributed family relief packages to 4,318 needy families from its relief stocks. More disaster victims were supported directly by local branches that used their own resources and raised funds locally.

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