Romania + 5 more

Central Europe regional Annual Appeal no. 05AA066 Programme Update No. 3

Situation Report
Originally published


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In Brief

Appeal No. 05AA066; Programme Update no.3

Period covered: 1 July 2005 to 21 December 2005;

Appeal target: CHF 2,260,819 (USD 1,794,085 or EURO 1,463,180) or CHF 1,800,925 (without the Core Budget)

Appeal coverage: 110.4%; (click here for live updated of contributions)

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals:

Romania: Floods emergency appeal issued in April 2005, and minor emergency appeal issued in July 2005; Bulgaria: Floods minor emergency appeals issued in June and August 2005; Bosnia & Herzegovina minor emergency appeal issued July and December 2005; Serbia and Montenegro emergency appeal issued in April 2005, Annual Appeals for Serbia and Montenegro including Kosovo, and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Programme summary:

The second half of the year continued to see disaster relief operations in Bulgaria and Romania grow in size, as subsequent waves of flooding hit both countries in August and September. Two further disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) allocations were approved for the operation in Romania and one for Bulgaria. With human resource capacities focused on responding to the emergencies, many planned activities in other programme areas such as organizational development, health and care, and participatory community development were put on hold. Additional resources were requested from the regional disaster response team (RDRT), and further missions were organized to the Romanian RC for RDRT members to support logistics and disaster relief capacity building and response efforts.

National societies were keen to build on the successes of national fundraising campaigns following the tsunami disaster early in 2005. Unprecedented amounts were raised from the general public by the Romanian and Bulgarian Red Cross (some 800,000 EURO in each country) for the victims of the flooding within their national borders. However donor fatigue had set in by early autumn, when it proved impossible to reach similar fundraising goals for the victims of the Pakistan earthquake. This was a similar experience throughout the region. Although financial contributions were limited, the region was again able to contribute in terms of trained and experienced professionals. The regional disaster response team was called on to deploy logistical or health staff, and at the beginning of December a doctor was deployed from Romania to work with the French RC field hospital in Pakistan for two months. A further two RDRT members from the region are set to join the Pakistan operation early in the New Year.

With major contributions to the appeal confirmed by early June -- including Swedish govt/RC, Norwegian govt / RC, Finnish and British RC funding -- activities were able to continue according to plan in the second half of the year. However, the figure of 110.4% appeal coverage does not show the imbalance in funding between programmes, and does not indicate under funding in some key areas. Attention needs to be drawn to the case of the regional health and care programme. With the support of only one major donor -- the Norwegian Red Cross -- the health/care programme activities risk being limited to HIV/AIDS and TB activities. Funding is urgently required to ensure that the health / care coordinator can continue in her mission and support national society work, particularly with the emergence of Avian Influenza, and in ensuring safe blood supply, the integration of psycho-social support elements in health and disaster preparedness programmes, as well as building capacities in emergency health response. Funding is also urgently sought for The Bridge magazine, to ensure the next issue can be produced in time for the Moscow Conference in April 2006.

To take forward the work on developing guidelines for best practice in working with Roma communities, a consultant was contracted by the Danish RC and visited Federation delegations in the region as well as national societies, to draw together the expertise and experience of the participatory community development (PCD) practitioners. PCD was introduced to two new national societies -- the Red Cross of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatian Red Cross -- with training in the former and plans to begin in the latter in early 2006.

Following a knowledg e sharing meeting in 2004 for national societies involved in planned change processes, the regional delegation organized a similar meeting but with a much wider scope. Some 40 participants from 15 countries gathered in Budapest in early December to share their knowledge, through self-organized working group sessions run by 'lead' national societies. The meeting embraced participants from outside the region, including Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

The International Federation's General Assembly and the subsequent Movement Council of Delegates took place in Seoul in November 2005. Federation and national society preparations in the region included a second leaders meeting for governance and management, which was held in Budapest in October 2005. National Society leaders provided valuable input to the planning process for the Federation's future in Europe -- including Moscow Conference preparations, as well as looking at what 'Our Federation of the Future' could mean in a European context. A second edition of The Bridge magazine in 2005 was finalized in time for distribution at Seoul, with a focus on health and care issues -- particularly TB as one of the key threats to health in the region.

Operational developments

Within the Federation planning process, the Regional Delegation worked on a four-year strategy covering the years 2006-9, which was launched as part of the two year Regional Appeal for Central Europe 2006-7 in December. This strategy sets out a clear vision for the future of the delegation as a resource centre, focusing on those areas in which it has built capacity, knowledge, expertise and its reputation over recent years, and encouraging national societies to take on focal roles in areas where they have developed specific expertise.

With the change in the geographical coverage of the Regional Delegation as of 1 January 2005, much work has gone into looking at the consequences of this for the future role and functions of the RD. It is clear that the national societies in the new accession countries (Bulgaria and Romania) as well as Croatia can benefit from the experience of the first round of accession which led to EU membership for eight countries in the region on 1 May 2004. Turning potential new EU funding opportunities into longer term secured funding sources is just one dimension of the EU debate, and one which requires an appropriate level of capacity to manage large scale programmes. Opportunities to tap into funding at a regional level in country may be more realistic for national societies. There is also discussion about the role national societies can play as a lead in civil society in preparing for the EU -- comprising the issues of meeting standards and normatives, networking and partnership development. The RD is continuing to plan with national societies and will use a concrete call for proposals from an EU funding source as a focus for any training in project proposal writing at a national society level.

In 2005, the main donors of the delegation continue to be the Swedish Red Cross, Swedish government, Norwegian government, Norwegian Red Cross, the Federation's Capacity Building Fund, Finnish Red Cross, British Red Cross and Icelandic Red Cross. The most pressing funding issue is the future of the regional health and care programme. As with the other programme areas, the regional delegation has moved away from the traditional delegate managed programme set up, to relying on regionally recruited staff. This also requires a change in traditional funding structures -- particularly how to ensure long term funding for key core programme staff -- which are now paid from programme funds rather than by the traditionally 'richer' partner National Societies (PNS) as delegates. The regional health/care programme faces serious limitations, with funding for HIV/AIDS and TB related issues secured until February 2006. However, the programme has no secured funding beyond that date.

For further information:

Anja Toivola, Head of Regional Delegation Regional Delegation for Central Europe, Budapest Phone: 361 248 3300, Fax 361248 3322 Email:

Erja Reinikainen, Regional Officer, Europe Department,

Phone : 41 22 730 43 19; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email:

This Programme Update reflects activities to be implemented over a one-year period. This forms part of, and is based on, longer -term, multi-year planning (refer below to access the detailed logframe documents). All International Federation assistance seeksto adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at

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