Earthquake and tsunami Emergency appeal n°MDRWS001- Operations update n° 9

Situation Report
Originally published
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This report covers the period October 2009 to April 2011


In the 19 months since the earthquake and tsunami hit Samoa in September 2009, the planned objectives as stated in the appeal have been fulfilled. Some of the objectives relating to disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction have not been fully completed as the activities are ongoing as part of the National Society’s longer-term strategy. A number of objectives relating to institutional capacity building have not been reached because of an internal governance dispute within the Samoa Red Cross Society.

The governance dispute is related to the existence of the Samoa Red Cross Society’s two governing boards. The matter entered the Samoa Supreme Court. The court did not recognize the legitimacy of either group and urged them to resolve the issue internally. An interim management committee was elected in the Samoa Red Cross Society extraordinary general meeting in August 2010. On a practical level, the committee has adopted an inclusive approach that has enabled the work of the National Society to continue. The IFRC collaborated with the interim management committee while working to stimulate a process whereby the two parties can reach an agreement. At the time of writing of this report, the Samoan Appeal Court has decided that a general meeting of the society should be held on 13 August and will be chaired by a person nominated by the IFRC. The IFRC has taken steps to implement the court decision.

The Samoa Red Cross Society has undertaken longer-term operational and strategic planning in order to make the most of the remaining funds from the appeal, as well as bilateral funding from partner National Societies. This planning will be guided by a programme review that has taken place in early May. The review was carried out by the Samoa Red Cross Society earthquake and tsunami relief and recovery operation and will be followed by an assessment of the National Society’s capacity to address ongoing and future programme activities.

The exit phase for the IFRC’s emergency operation takes place in May 2011 in order to guarantee a smooth continuation of the National Society’s operations. The exit phase will ensure that existing resources are integrated with the National Society’s longer-term plans and with any potential funding from bilateral partners such as the Australian Red Cross and New Zealand Red Cross.

It is recommended that any unspent balance from the IFRC’s emergency appeal, after exit phase expenditure has been accounted for, be integrated into the IFRC’s Pacific regional budget so that the Samoa Red Cross Society’s long-term organizational development activities can continue.

Partners who have made contributions to this appeal include the American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, British Red Cross and the British government, Canadian Red Cross and the Canadian government, Red Cross Society of China, Danish Red Cross, Irish Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross Society, Monaco Red Cross, New Zealand Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross and the Swedish government, the government of the Republic of Korea and USAID.

The IFRC, on behalf of the Samoa Red Cross Society, would like to thank all partners for their generous contributions.