Romania

Romania Floods Appeal No. 05EA009 Operations Update No. 4

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
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In Brief

Appeal No. 05EA009;

Operations Update no. 4; Period covered: August - November 2005;

Appeal coverage: (Please click)

Appeal timeframe extended until 31 May 2006 (due to end 29 October 2005)

Appeal History:

- Launched on 29 April 2005 for CHF 1,055,000 (USD 819,680 or EURO 674,715) to assist 4,500 beneficiaries for 6 months.

- Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated CHF 160,428 (USD 124,605 or EUR 102,630).

Operational Summary: The Operations Update no. 3 issued at the end of July 2005 informed contributors to this appeal of the necessity of widening the geographical coverage of the operation from the two counties hit by flooding in April to encompass the much wider and national scope of the disaster. The type and quantity of relief items was also revised, following the continuing needs assessment carried out by the Romanian Red Cross (RRC) in the field. This Operations Update no.4 proposes to extend the timeframe of the operation till 31 May 2006. As the waves of flooding continued in to September, hitting some counties for the second or third time, the clean up and drying out phases continue to date. Communities are preparing for an exceedingly hard winter with basic household food stores having been destroyed during the year, and the hopes for autumnal harvests dashed by the continued waves of flooding. The Romanian Red Cross has been supported in its continuing needs assessment efforts and logistical capacity building by members of the Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT), who have been deployed to Romania on four linked missions. Based on the latest needs assessment the Romanian Red Cross proposed a further change to the nature of the relief, to ensure food parcel distribution continues through the tough winter months. This relief will be purchased with the latest voluntary contributions received in response to the appeal.

Background

With the country still recovering from previous major waves of flooding in April and July, heavy rains between 18 and 26 September caused a sixth wave of floods and further destruction in 16 counties of Romania - with Constanta, Ialomita and Ilfov amongst the most severely affected according to official statistics. The country had effectively been coping with a continuous emergency situation for a total of six months by the end of September 2005.

In the last wave of flooding that hit the country 16 counties in the south east and east of Romania were affected. Most of these counties were still recovering from previous waves of flooding. Some 340 sites were affected with six isolated, over 1,000 people were evacuated, six people were reported dead and three missing, 25 villages were isolated affecting over 300 households. More than 3,500 homes were affected, as well as 42,079 hectares of agricultural land, 5,094 hectares of pastures and 2,490 hectares of forests. The infrastructure was once again heavily hit : 192 bridges, 271 small bridges, 19 national, 88 country and 201 village roads were affected. The floods also made 4,227 wells and four water supply networks unusable and broke nine power lines leaving five localities without electricity. A significant number of birds and animals (3,942) were also killed, increasing the health hazards already posed by the lack of clean water. This sixth wave of flooding also hit the capital - Bucharest - flooding houses, basements, streets and tunnels in three sectors.

As the country prepares for a long and cold winter, many communities are still dealing with the aftermath of the floods including the drying out process, the replacing of basic furniture and household items. Their normal food stocks stored in basements have been destroyed together with harvests, while part of the annual planting season has already passed.

Government action

The State Agency of Civil Protection, fire brigade, police and other disaster partners have been coordinating their actions in res ponse to the crisis, and from the beginning of the alert the Romanian Red Cross (RRC) has been in daily contact with them. The branches of the Romanian Red Cross have also been critical in monitoring developments in the communities where they work.

Rescue efforts were immediately organized by crews from the Civil Protection Agency, the Ministry of Administration and Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Regional Environment, the Ministry of Defence, municipal organizations and others with a role in municipal and regional plans of action in disasters, accidents and catastrophes. The organization and coordination of human and material resources was carried out by the relevant commissions at all levels.

Rescue teams have been involved in drainage work, and have cleared mud and fallen trees from buildings, roads and streets. Temporary dikes were built on sections at risk. People have been relocated from the most affected buildings to temporary shelters, mostly schools, kindergartens, relatives and host families.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The RRC has played an important role as a valuable partner of the government in this difficult situation and has coordinated its efforts with national and local authorities, NGOs, the national society of municipalities in Romania and other local organizations.

Throughout the floods the RRC provided immediate response to the victims, coordinating at national headquarters level and on the ground through its local branches in the affected regions. A range of relief goods have been distributed by the RRC branches throughout the entire period of ongoing rain and floods , on the basis of needs assessment and in constant co-ordination with state authorities both at national and local level.

Coordination and Cooperation

The RRC is the only non-governmental organization which is included in the national system for protection of the population in case of natural and technological disasters in time of peace and war. The RRC works in close cooperation and interaction with the Ministry of Defence, the State Agency for Civil Protection, the Ministry of Administration and Interior, governmental institutions, local authorities and other partners in disaster response.

The overall coordination of the RRC operation has been undertaken by RRC Crisis Management Team which meets on a regular basis to process information from various sources, including RRC branches, assess the situation and take decisions. As a result:

- RRC delivered immediately emer gency aid to affected people from its own disaster reserves;

- RRC approached the International Federation of RC/RC Societies with a request for funds allocation from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF);

- RRC used several cash and in-kind donations from partner national societies;

- RRC launched a national media campaign to raise cash and in-kind donations .

Regular media briefings and press-conferences are held to inform the general public and to ensure operational transparency. Information about the operation is published on the RRC webpage. The national response has been high, showing the trust the RRC holds in the society.

National Society Capacity

As part of the operation, members of the Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) have been deployed to Romania to support their Romanian Red Cross colleagues in logistical and operational terms. The team deployments have been coordinated by the regional disaster management (DM) coordinator, who has also played a crucial role in ensuring key capacity building elements have been built into the operation. The RDRT members and regional DM coordinator have also supported the national society, in particular the disaster preparedness/response department and the logistics function, with capacity building meas ures. In October logistics training was held for branch staff and volunteers, to introduce Federation procedures and to ensure that standard requirements for procurement, transportation, warehousing etc. are understood and followed. In addition, the RDRT and the regional DM coordinator have been involved in the recruitment process of a logistician for the Romanian Red Cross.

Operational Objectives

The overall goal of this operation was to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable floods victims. The main beneficiary groups were:

- Elderly people and children;

- Single parent households;

- People whose houses are damaged or destroyed

The objectives of the original emergency appeal were:

- To provide potable water for 10,000 persons in the affected area for 2 months.

- To provide humanitarian assistance for 4,500 evacuated people and those severely affected by the flooding

- To promote the activities of the Red Cross and strengthen the image of the Romanian Red Cross.

Progress/Achievements

Thanks to allocations from the Federation DREF and contributions from British, Icelandic, Irish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish Red Cross and Turkish Red Crescent, to date a total of EURO 684,735 has been made available (through this Emergency Appeal and Minor Emergency Appeal No.05ME039 in an amount of EURO 155,644) to purchase and distribute relief supplies, consisting of food parcels, blankets, sleeping bags, rubber boots, underwear, T-shirts, bed linen, plastic sheeting, hygienic parcels, jerry cans, and tents to assist 4,500 beneficiaries in the most affected regions for a period of three to six months .

Outstanding Needs

The RRC regional teams made regular field assessments in their regions. Based on this data, the decision has been made to revise the type and/or quantity of relief items to be distributed to respond to the latest needs. According to the latest assessment, some 25,000 people amongst the affected population still need basic support.

The following beneficiary selection criteria have been reconfirmed to focus on during the operation:

- elderly people over 65 years old living alone;

- families with more than three children under five years old;

- families with disabled/handicapped persons and/or TB patients;

- low-income families living under the social minimum.

According to the RRC assessments, the most needed items are food parcels to cover the needs over five months of winter and spring.

Proposed Action

The objective of the proposed operation is:

To provide food parcels (KRELFOPA05P - Emergency Relief Items Catalogue 2004) to 360 families in six counties for the next five months.

The project will be implemented in the following counties: Arges, Bacau, Galati, Ialomita, Teleorman and Vrancea for a period of five months, between 1 December 2005 and 1 May 2006.

The following activities will be conducted:

- preparation of guidelines for relief operation;

- preparation of beneficiary lists;

- procurement of food parcels;

- distribution to the beneficiaries;

- standard RRC registration of beneficiaries.

Budget

The overall budget limit of the Emergency Appeal will not be increased. However, revisions will be made to the budget to include additional food parcels.

Budget line
Quantity
Unit Value
(RON)
Total (RON)
Total EUR
Relief Items
Food parcel (for family, 5 persons / 1 month)
1,812
85
153,574
42,075
Administrative / personnel / logistic / monitoring
costs (6,5%)
10,676
2,925
Total
162,000
45,000

Monitoring and Reporting

Narrative and financial reports on the proposed operation will be produced according to the Federation requirements. The responsibility for the overall management of the project implementation lies on the RRC headquarters - Disaster Preparedness and Response Department. An expert in this department will coordinate the project, monitor, adjust and report on the project activities to the donors. The coordinator of the project is responsible for the preparation of the final report. Additional interim reports will be prepared as appropriate.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Romanian Red Cross: Radu Lihaci, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator; Telephone: +40 21 317 40 32, +40 21 317 05 59, Fax: + 40 21 312 84 52, email: dezastre@crucearosie.ro

Regional Delegation, Slobodanka Curic, Regional Disaster Management Coordinator; email: slobodanka.curic@ifrc.org, phone: + 387 59 260 383, mobile: + 387 65 665 747

In Geneva: Erja Reinikainen, Federation Desk Officer, Europe Department, Geneva: email: erja.reinikainen@ifrc.org, phone: + 41 22 730 49 20; fax: +41 22 733 03 95

All International Federation assistance seeks to 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 http://www.ifrc.org