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Pacific Regional Programmes Appeal No. 01.40/2002 Programme Update No. 2

Situation Report
Originally published


Appeal No. 01.40/2002
Appeal Target CHF 1,235,033 (USD 837,256 / EUR 840,747)
Programme Update No. 2 ; Period covered: July - December 2002;
Last Programme Update no. 1 issued on 15 July 2002

Appeal coverage: Covered

Related Appeals: Pacific regional programmes 01.71/03 Outstanding needs: None

Summary: Considerable progress was made in the region in terms of impacting on the lives of the vulnerable. In particular, innovative approaches to HIV/AIDS awareness have been adopted with great success as moves to tackle this emerging crisis continue.

Operational Developments

There were several disasters in the region, including an earthquake and volcano eruption in Papua New Guinea. No major political and socio-economic events took place in the region; yet a considerable level of internal tensions in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea continued.

The Pacific national societies concentrated on strengthening their capacity throughout a series of meetings as well as workshops at both regional and national levels. For some national societies. sudden change of leadership and structure caused suspension of ongoing projects.

Disaster Preparedness

Objective 1: To improve the capacity of National Societies in emergency management and programme planning and implementation.

During the last six months, there were considerable numbers of disasters throughout the Pacific. Typhoon Chata'an hit the state of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia in July, which caused massive mudslides and floods. A New Zealand Red Cross delegate travelled to disaster sites and carried out a comprehensive assessment, and CHF 30,000 DREF (disaster relief emergency funds) was granted to Micronesia Red Cross Society, which also received a lot of assistance from neighbouring Palau Red Cross Society and Saipan Red Cross branch.

Papua New Guinea was faced with a volcano eruption in Mt. Pago that forced up to 10,000 people to flee from their homes, the earthquake in Wewak that measured at 7.5 in Richer Scale. There were also droughts that caused poor harvest on crops. Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNG RCS), in co-operation with the Federation's country delegation, have provided the victims with necessary relief items, such as water containers, blankets and mosquito nets. PNG RCS has also installed several water tanks in the earthquake areas.

Tuvalu Red Cross Society (TRCS) assisted several tidal-wave evacuees, who had to stay at a collective centre for a week. And Samoa Red Cross Society (SRCS) provided several fire victims with necessities such as cooking sets, tarpaulins and blankets.

Coming into this year's cyclone season, several national societies carried out stock-takes on their relief supplies, updated their contact lists and collected some demographic information. As recommended in the report of Joint Review of the Pacific Regional Disaster Preparedness Programme in 2001, the regional delegation has put aside contingency funds, which will be available to national societies that need urgent procurement throughout the cyclone season.

The most significant outcome in the second half of 2002 is though the launching of DMCG Pacific (Disaster Management Core Group Pacific), which is a technical advisory group in disaster management in the Pacific. The group was first initiated by national societies during the partnership meeting in Cook Islands in 2001, but nothing happened until last October when the Secretary General from Tonga Red Cross Society and two disaster management co-ordinators from Fiji Red Cross Society and Solomon Islands Red Cross Society officially introduced this working group during the Regional Emergency Management Workshop. The formal letter asking for official recognition has been sent out to all national societies, and the Federation, ICRC and Australian Red Cross have already endorsed this working group, and both regional delegations have even spared resources to support any activities of the core group next year.

Objective 2: To conduct vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) in five National Societies and assist all National Societies in the Pacific to have updated disaster management plans by the end of 2003.

As pointed out in the previous Programme Update, implementing actual VCA exercises in three national societies in 2002 seems to be ambitious, as many national societies have just learned the concept. Nonetheless, there were constant efforts to improve levels of understanding on VCA in the Pacific. The regional delegation identified a person from one of the national societies and sent him to VCA ToT workshop in July. His potential ability to disseminate VCA was praised by the workshop resource persons. Unfortunately he is no longer with the Red Cross. Together with the DP delegate in PNG, who has also been trained as VCA instructor, the regional delegation has introduced key methodologies of VCA and further concepts such as steering committee and task group to the disaster management officers.

During the reporting period, Palau Cross Society (PRCS) and Kiribati Red Cross Society (KRCS) have been encouraged to develop their disaster management plans with a couple of orientation meetings that provided them with certain guideline. Other national societies like Fiji Red Cross Society and Tonga Red Cross Society have revised their disaster management plans; however, the plan to revise all existing disaster management plans by the end of the year could not be achieved as there are some national societies still under discussion with respective government's disaster management offices to revise their plans.

Objective 3: To assist all the National Societies in improving their logistics and warehousing system, to allow the quick and efficient release of pre-positioned emergency relief stocks to the population most in need when disasters strike.

Financial assistance was granted to three national societies: Fiji Red Cross Society, Tonga Red Cross Society and Vanuatu Red Cross Society for repairing DP containers and further maintenance including replenishment. None of them met narrative and financial reporting deadlines. However, Fiji Red Cross Society (FRCS) has applied for an extension of the project, which will last until March 2003. FRCS had handed in their interim report with mid-term financial evidences. Understood that Tonga Red Cross is in the process of compiling their reports. Unfortunately, Vanuatu Red Cross could not meet any requirements other than new stock-takes that were requested by disaster management delegate in June. It was mainly due to mismanagement of its leadership and massive layoff that eliminated the responsible person in disaster management.

Objective 4: To assist National Societies in strengthening the CBSR programme, so that it plays an active role in preparation for, mitigation of, and response to disasters in the most vulnerable 10 percent of the communities in target counties by the end of 2003.

Only minor activities have taken place by the regional delegation during the course of last six months. Tonga Red Cross Society has received a fax machine to improve its communication with their local stakeholders and branches. A total of 500 cyclone tracking maps were printed and donated to Cook Islands Red Cross, which has been distributing them to the community with relevant workshops on first aids, community health and disaster management.

Objective 5: To build on regional emergency management capacities by strengthening the integration and co-ordination of activities among the components of the Movement.

During this reporting period, a number of strategic planning meetings not only with other regional technical delegates in the region but also with ICRC Suva delegation and the Pacific national societies had taken place to identify and coordinate future programmes, projects and activities for the region. Developing national society's strategic plan in Cook Islands was also assisted.

The regional delegation had facilitated Tonga Red Cross Society's participation to the Tokyo preparatory meeting and the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Manila. The society was representing the Pacific in disaster management. A couple of documents had been drafted to assist the society's presentation such as Disaster Management Profile in the Pacific and a working paper, "Disaster Management in the Pacific: Strategic Plan 2002-2004."

From 30 September to 8 October, the regional delegation had successfully carried out a Regional Emergency Management Workshop in Lautoka, Fiji, jointly with ICRC and American Red Cross. The 12 Pacific National Societies were present at the workshop including Australian Red Cross and New Zealand Red Cross. Representatives from three National Disaster Management Offices -- Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu had also participated and contributed to the workshop. In addition, there were representatives from Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) and UN OCHA. The workshop was at the advanced level, in which participants could discuss emerging issues in the Pacific such as climate changes and disaster preparedness, population movement and regional disaster management core group. Indeed, a total of 19 sessions were developed to cover three technical areas: disaster response, disaster preparedness and conflict preparedness. At least six of which were allocated for exploring the emerging issues in the Pacific. One-day field exercise also took place in cooperation with Fiji Military Forces, which gave lessons on the importance of security, the Fundamental Principles and correct use of emblem.

One of the strong recommendations from the workshop was to hold similar workshops at the national level, and with consultation of ICRC and American Red Cross, the regional delegation is now planning to facilitate a couple of national workshops in 2003 for local staff and volunteers in the Pacific national societies, most of whom have not had any Red Cross training.

Objective 6: To enhance the Movement's profile within the region through strategic alliances with external organizations and a coordinated approach to dissemination.

The regional delegation has continuously been cooperating with two major disaster management bodies in the Pacific: OCHA and SOPAC, with whom the regional delegation has constantly shared valuable emergency management information in a series of workshops and training courses. However, further coordination and effective use of resources in the Pacific had always been the major issue for a long time. In December, the regional delegation has joined OCHA, SOPAC and the Asia Foundation/OFDA to form the PEM TAG (Pacific Emergency Management Training and Advisory Group), which will optimize such limited opportunities that are available to the Pacific Islanders and improve a level of training courses/workshops by sharing training materials, instructors and other resources.

After the official launching of the World Disaster Reports 2002 in June, there have been several discussions with environmental groups such as WWF to collaborate at the community level. Since the issue of climate change is emerging among national societies, the regional delegation opts to work on the issue, with support of the Netherlands Red Cross Climate Centre. Although nothing has been done in this reporting period, other than sharing the reports, it will be one of areas that the regional delegation will be focusing on in 2003.

Health and Care

Objective 1: To assist the National Societies improve the quality and relevance of their First Aid Courses and to further strengthen the capacity of their First Aid volunteers by the end of 2003.

The Pacific Quality Management Committee has been active also during the latter part of 2002.

First Aid audit was conducted in Vanuatu Red Cross by the Secretary General of Cook Island. Thus, total number of the audits is now six.

The First Aid questionnaires, that were sent out in June, have not been received according to schedule. The Regional Health Delegate (RHD) is still waiting for two National Societies to return the questionnaires. When the questionnaires are received them they will be analyzed and also circulated in the National Societies.

Many First Aid training have taken place around Pacific in the National Societies. First Aid instructor training, including ToT training, has commenced in Tonga, both in the National Office and in Vava'u branch. In Solomon Island Red Cross NZRC trained ten ToT First Aid instructors and two from the sister National Society, Kiribati. PNGRC was recognized as a National Training Provider in August and new First Aid instructors were trained in six branches.

CBSR review was done in PNGRC by the CBSR/DP Program officers, branch CBSR instructors and the RHD. It was important to do it now when other National Societies are planning to start the training in outer islands. There were lessons learned which will benefit other sister societies, and most importantly the PNGRC.

During the field trips the First Aid and CBSR activities were discussed and technical advice was received by all visited National Societies. The World First Aid Day was observed in all Pacific National Societies with several First Aid promoting activities such as demonstrations, training, displays and even First Aid Puppet Shows.

Objective 2: To establish, by the end of 2003, a Regional Psychological Support Center with expertise in Counseling techniques during and after disasters (natural or conflicts) and for volunteers working with people living with HIV/AIDS.

Due to several constraints in the Regional Health and Care program, the Psychological Support Workshop was not able to take place until 2003.

Joint decision to postpone the training until 2003 was made by the Secretariat Psychological Support officer and the RHD.

Objective 3: To establish a Regional Blood Donor recruitment center that assists in the collection of sufficient amounts of good quality blood; to help societies to deliver program services as stated in the global blood policy by the end of 2003.

Good working relationship between the RHD, WHO and MoH strengthened during the planning and implementing stages of the Fiji National Blood Workshop. This was the first time this kind of workshop was ever arranged in Fiji. It truly fulfilled a serious need for the different stakeholders with common daily problems by providing a forum for open discussion. The Voluntary Blood Donor Recruitment (VBDR) was important, because only a very small percentage of blood donors are volunteers. There were several resolutions to be followed and many working groups are working on different issues.

Planning with WHO and SIRC for the Blood Workshop to be held in Solomon Island has commenced. Tentative discussions in PNG were started with the WHO office and the PNGRC to have a similar workshop in PNG.

The RHD worked together with the VBDR focal person from Samoa Red Cross, a consultant and a Video Specialist from SPC on a draft outline and a script for a video that would promote VBDR among the youth in the Pacific.

Objective 4: To establish a Regional HIV/AIDS Reference Center to assist National Societies design and implement effective HIV/AIDS country programs.

Almost all National Societies have been organizing events and activities to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and disseminate health messages on a very small scale basis however, they are also integrated these issues into their FA and CBSR activities.

A first of its kind Puppeteer Workshop in Fiji trained two youth volunteers from Samoa RC, Vanuatu RC, Tonga RC, Cook Island RC and Fiji RC about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. It also trained them in puppet making, script writing and performing. The trained youth volunteers are now capable of training more youth volunteers in their own National Society for puppeteering. Need for additional training exists in the National Societies especially for the Field Officers as it has become apparent that they have not been properly trained for the HIV/AIDS issues. The RHD is planning to have HIV/AIDS training, including counseling in 2003.

Twenty youth volunteers from six different Pacific Red Cross National Societies were invited by UNICEF to participate in the UNICEF Regional Youth Conference on Aids in Fiji. They now continue their volunteering for youth with new skills and enthusiasm to make the difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Cook Island Red Cross made history in the Pacific by becoming the only National Society accepted as a NGO partner by the government in the Country Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund to fight against Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Pacific National Societies organized many events before and during the Word Aids Day. It was very encouraging for the Health Delegate to receive proposals with budgets for the activities. Six National Societies were funded from the Regional Health and Care program.

Objective 5: To improve and strengthen the networks between National Societies to enable them to maximize their resources, at the same time improving their networks with other relevant partners, to assist in strengthening their capacity.

In The Regional Workshop, emphasis was put on networking between the National Societies. We did the Health and Care program mapping for the National Societies. This information was used for the Appeal 2003- 2004.

Professional contacts have been maintained by the Rhd in Suva with relevant partners like MoH, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, AIDS Task Force, SPC but also in the countries where the RDH has visited such as PNG, Kiribati, Tonga, FSM, Palau and Cook Island. The health field officers have been encouraged to do the same. The harmonizing with ICRC has continued.

Objective 6: To enable field officers and volunteers to contribute to health program planning and to increase their management capacity by introducing new volunteer management systems to help field officers to coordinate work in the branches.

There is definitely a need for more training. That could happen with the planned HIV/AIDS training component, which would include participants learning to plan the HIV/AIDS program for their National Society in the logical framework. That training would be needed as well for developing better CBSR programs with increased involvement by the branches. The RHD assisted PNG RC Health and Care program for the Appeal 2003-2004. Kiribati RC HIV/AIDS program proposal received assistance from the Rhd as well as First Aid and CBSR programs in Palau, FSM and Tonga. The strategic planning with Cook Island Health and care program was assisted.

Organizational Development

Objective 1: To support and strengthen national society governance and management and to strengthen the administrative and financial capacity of national societies in the region.

In the second half of 2002 all National Societies indicated that it was their number one priority to develop three to five year strategic plans. In accordance with this priority strategic planning workshops were conducted in Fiji and Cook Islands. While in Vanuatu a finalisation process was undertaken and discussions on how the process worked were held in Tonga, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Governance and management formed a key component in each strategic plans and/or discussions.

During field visits to Tonga and FSM the OD delegate provided governance training to both Societies Boards of Management. Further training in governance is required for all the Pacific National Societies as there is often a misunderstanding of a Board's responsibilities.

A distance learning Leadership Development project was funded by the Capacity Building Fund. As a result the adaptation of the Leadership Development curriculum into distance learning commenced in October with discussions between the OD delegate and the Secretary General of the Tonga Red Cross. An adult educator was identified and discussions began on suitable teaching and tutoring methodologies. Progress has been slow on the project due to the OD delegate assuming the role of Acting Head of Delegation in August.

Throughout the second half of 2002 ongoing support was provided to National Societies in relation to financial reporting and administrative matters. Intense technical assistance in both these areas was provided to Fiji Red Cross, Tonga Red Cross, Micronesia Red Cross and Palau Red Cross. The one-on-one training and/or attention appears to have a more lasting impact. It is recommended that this approach continue in the future.

In the 2002 Appeal it was envisaged that three CAS would either be completed or close to completion. However, due to the lack of three-year strategic plans in these National Societies it was not possible to get to this point at the end of 2002. It is anticipated that three CAS will commence in 2003.

The New Zealand Red Cross held a workshop for Secretary-Generals of six National Societies in Wellington. During the workshop the SGs received further training on reporting, both financial and narrative.

Objective 2: To increase National Societies' programme planning and management capacities to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and to improve general performance.

Follow-up Programme Management training was provided to the Fiji Red Cross Programme Coordinators throughout the second half of the year. Programme planning and management training was also given to staff and management of Vanuatu Red Cross during the finalisation of their strategic plan. The OD delegate and the Coordinator for the Pacific from the Australian Red Cross provided the training, however, this area remains a weakness for the Vanuatu Red Cross and will need further attention in the future.

Additional programme planning, design and implementation training was provided to Cook Islands, Tonga, Palau and Micronesia Red Cross Societies. The training was at an introductory level and will require further more thorough one-on-one training in the future to ensure there is a complete understanding of the processes.

One-on-one training for report writing using a revised format was provided to the Tonga, Micronesia and Palau Red Cross Societies during field visits. This resulted in the compilation of outstanding reports and the submission of them to donors. The quality of reports being submitted to donors continues to a concern due to the necessity for long-term intensive on-the-job training. The size of the Regional Delegation and the financial cost to provide intensive training for extended periods of time will continue to hinder capacity building in this area. This situation is being addressed by simplifying the reporting format and providing detailed written instructions on how to write the report but this is not particularly satisfactory given that Pacific cultures do not rely on the written word.

The OD delegate presented a half-day workshop on programme/project planning and writing to the participants of a puppet-making workshop in early October. The workshop was support by the Regional Health Programme and participant attended from Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands and Fiji. The sub-theme of the workshop was HIV/AIDS/STI awareness and prevention messages.

The commencement of developing indicators to enable the participatory programme evaluations to be carried out did not

Objective 3: To improve human resources and volunteering across all programme areas in 2002 and 2003.

To assist in developing human resources in the Pacific region the OD delegate, in consultation with the Australian Red Cross, interviewed a candidate for a Basic Training Course to be held in Australia in the first quarter of 2003. The candidate's application was completed by the OD delegate and submitted to Australian Red Cross for their consideration.

The Regional Delegation has received an invitation to support a suitable person from a Pacific National Society to attend the 22nd International Fundraising Congress to be held in Amsterdam in October. The Secretary General from the Cook Islands Red Cross attended the Congress and will submit a report to the Delegation. It is envisaged that the knowledge gained during the Congress will form part of a module on resource development at a regional workshop to be held some time throughout 2003.

The promotion of volunteerism formed part of each technical visit undertaken by each of the delegates throughout the second half of the year. Throughout the region there is a poor understanding of volunteerism and therefore it is recommended that during 2003 that it is a priority for the Delegation.

Objective 4: To strengthen existing branches and to encourage the establishment of new branches of the national societies in the Pacific over the next two years.

The development of three strategic plans and discussion on the commencement of another three during the first quarter of 2003 drew attention to the need to develop new branches and strengthen existing ones in a sustainable manner. In some instances it was obvious that branches existed in name only and were not carrying out any Red Cross activities.

Fiji Red Cross, over the course of the final six months of the year, moved to devolve the activities being carried out by the staff and volunteers from the National Office to the branches. The branches were responding positively and were showing a willingness to become more involved in their National Society.

Tonga Red Cross, with financial support from the New Zealand Red Cross, continued to develop its branches in a slow and methodical manner. The Tonga Red Cross SG was especially mindful of sustainable development of new branches. Cook Islands Red Cross has considerable knowledge of its branches and is developing them at a pace that is also sustainable.

Objective 5: To enhance the Movement's profile within the region through an integrated approach to dissemination and through strategic alliances with external agencies.

Strategic planning in the Pacific National Societies is providing an opportunity for the incorporation of RC/RC Movement's key messages into their Advocacy programmes. This also has allowed for a clear understanding that for the messages to reach a wider audience that it is necessary to build networks with external agencies.

Coordination and Management

Objective 1: To manage and co-ordinate Federation's support to national society programmes in the region effectively and efficiently.

With sudden departure of head of regional delegation, a responsibility of co-ordination and management has been shared by three technical delegates under supervision of Regional Organizational Development Delegate as acting head of regional delegation. Such integration created more friendly approach to the national societies through joint field trips and strategic workshops at national level i.e. Vanuatu and Cook Islands.

Objective 2: To promote effective co-operation between national societies of the region and Red Cross partners.

Regional Organizational Development Delegate facilitated participation of the Pacific national societies to the Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Manila. Also assisted technical delegates in promotion of harmonisation with ICRC.

Objective 3: To promote effective co-operation, partnerships and alliances with non-Red Cross partners at both the regional and national levels.

Close co-operation with existing strategic partners including donors, regional NGOs and UN agencies continued in the course of last six months in three technical areas.

For further details please contact: Satoshi Sugai Phone : 41 22 ; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email:

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at

John Horekens
External Relations

Simon Missiri
Asia & Pacific Department

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