Solomon Islands + 2 more

Asia Pacific Service Centre 2007 Outlook Appeal No. MAA50001 Programme Update No. 3 (1/1/07 - 30/6/07)

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published

Attachments

This report covers the period 01 January 07 to 30 June 07 of the 2006-2007 appeal.

In a world of global challenges, continued poverty, inequity, and increasing vulnerability to disasters and disease, the International Federation with its global network, works to accomplish its Global Agenda, partnering with local community and civil society to prevent and alleviate human suffering from disasters, diseases and public health emergencies.

In brief

Programme Summary:

The programmes have continued to be implemented during the reporting period. The main event during the first half of the year has been a tsunami which struck the Solomon Islands on 2 April, which is the subject of an emergency appeal and separate reporting. The fallout from the coup in Fiji which took place in December 2006 has continued but has not had a significant impact on programme delivery. However, the economy of the country has been affected, and it remains to be seen what, if any, long term impact is had upon the vulnerability of the population as a whole. Strategic partnerships have been established with international and Pacific-based organizations to better improve overall quality of outreach, and substantial effort has been put into introducing the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, its programmes and projects to communities through volunteers and local media.

The overall financial situation, while not acute, is far from perfect. The coverage of the appeal at the end of June is 57 per cent. The soft pledges and indications of funding for the antipodean financial year (July 07- June 08) received through the regional officer in Geneva and the delegation in Suva are not promising. The emergency appeal for the Solomon Islands tsunami is receiving a positive response so far and is reported elsewhere. The regional office for south Pacific is facing serious shortfalls in essential running costs. If funding is not forthcoming in the second half of 2007, programme support and technical assistance will need to be cut in the early part of 2008. With work and progress made in the areas of financial management, expanding current programmes and risk reduction, it is unfortunate that momentum will be lost due to a shortage of funding. This could, in turn, lead to gaps appearing as staff leave both the Federation and national society offices.

Needs: Total 2006-2007 budget CHF 6.45 million (USD 5.24 million or EUR 3.94 million) out of which 57% covered. Outstanding needs are CHF 2.77 million (USD 2.25 million or EUR 1.68 million).

Our partners: During the period, the delegation worked with 14 national societies, the ICRC in two countries, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and four regional organizations.

Progress towards objectives

Health and care

Overall goal: Health status of Pacific communities has improved through contributions from the Red Cross in the region, enhancing community and individual capacity to lead an informed, socially useful and productive life.

Programme objective: Pacific national societies have addressed community health needs through effective and sustainable health programmes, including during disasters and emergencies.

Overview

The regional delegation for the Pacific region has continued to support the national societies' health activities in the region during the reporting period. It was agreed that the national societies will seek to develop its health strategic plan with a focus on HIV and community-based first aid, assisted by the regional health unit. External partners have expressed keen interest in working jointly with the various national Red Cross societies in health.

Progress/ achievements

Expected results:

- National societies are able to assess and identify health priorities/ target groups in the community through community health assessments.

- Communities have received quality health promotion activities from national societies, which are linked with water and sanitation as well as sustainable commercial first aid that meets the Pacific's quality standards.

- National societies are better prepared to respond to community health needs during emergencies.

- National societies have effectively managed HIV interventions on prevention, care and support, including anti-stigma and discrimination as well as safe blood provision through voluntary, non-remunerated blood donor recruitment.

- National societies have built effective linkages with other relevant partners both within and outside the Movement through regular networking and cooperation.

One of the identified priorities for the regional national societies is voluntary non-remunerated blood donor recruitment (VNRBDR). The regional health unit supported three participants from Fiji Red Cross Society to attend a three-day Pacific regional workshop on VNRBDR, organized by World Health Organization in Fiji. The workshop included participants from the ministry of health and various Red Cross representatives from the Pacific. A significant achievement of this workshop was that the regional health unit and the World Health Organization agreed to have similar workshops at national level and work on developing a simplified training curriculum for them. This curriculum will guide VNRBD trainings for national societies as well as the ministry of health staff and enable them to become effective VNRBD recruiters. Increased number of VNRB donors will lead to increased supply of safe blood in Pacific island countries along with the accruing benefits which include reduced transmission of Transfusion Transmitted Infections e.g. HIV. The revised curriculum was finalized in May and shall be piloted in June, when the regional health unit will support national societies in Kiribati, Fiji and Solomon Islands in organizing VNRBDR workshops. The regional health unit also supported the submission of an abstract by Samoa Red Cross Society for the upcoming international colloquium on VNRBDR.

In addition, the regional health delegation worked with the regional disaster management team on identifying areas integrating health and disaster management activities, with one potential area being avian influenza. A regional plan of action and template on avian influenza was prepared and disseminated to all national societies, and four have identified avian influenza as an area where they would like to work in the future.

Support was given to the Secretariat General from Cook Islands Red Cross Society to participate in the Pacific health ministers meeting in Vanuatu on behalf of the Federation. The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of Red Cross with senior policy makers in the region, and they identified the importance and need of the ministry of health to work closely with national societies in their respective countries.

A representative attended the Global Health and Care forum organized by the Federation's health unit in Geneva, and had extensive discussions with various health managers while identifying priorities in health for the 2008-09 appeal.

Furthermore, a visit was conducted to the Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society (PNGRCS) in February to follow up from last year, and to interact extensively with the national society's leadership and senior health managers, along with the HIV delegate from Australian Red Cross Society.

The regional health delegate also met with key external stakeholders in health in the country, including the World Health Organization, ministry of health and Igat Hope, a people living with HIV organization. The visit helped the regional health delegate and PNGRCS focus on areas the national societies need to be supported in. It is expected that PNGRCS will build effective partnerships with these stakeholders, especially the ministry of health. A lot will depend on the commitment from the national society leadership in giving due importance to health and care, starting by recruiting a competent health coordinator for the national society (the current incumbent has resigned from his post) and the availability of funds. Ultimately, it is hoped that PNGRCS will be supported to develop a robust health strategic plan that shall reach out to a greater number of people and the national society will be able to raise funds in-country.

The Cook Islands Red Cross Society received assistance from the regional health delegate in developing their second health strategic plan for 2008-10. The regional health delegate also facilitated a four-day workshop attended by national society staff and representatives from external partners such as the ministry of health and the Pacific Islands AIDS Foundation (PIAF). The plan was subsequently approved by the governing board and shall become operational from next year.

In a meeting with members of PIAF, which is the only regional organization of people living with HIV in the Pacific, it was agreed that PIAF will work together with the regional delegation in planning and conducting a joint campaign addressing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

The Pacific regional HIV plan, which is based on the Global HIV Alliance framework, was discussed during the Bangkok meeting of regional health delegates on HIV Global Alliance. Based on regional- and national-level consultations, this plan is expected to be completed by September this year.

Further developments include an International Federation proposal for HIV-related activities to the upcoming Global Fund Round 7. This proposal aims to secure long term funds for the regional HIV programme that will focus on supporting four national societies in the region. The activities under this proposed funding will focus on HIV prevention, stigma and discrimination, VNRBD and capacity building. The final draft of this proposal shall be submitted to the Pacific regional country coordinating mechanism in June.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

- Federation Pacific regional delegation in Fiji: Frank Kennedy (head of regional delegation); email: frank.kennedy@ifrc.org; phone: +679.331.1855; fax: +679.331.1406

- Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Jae Ryul Kim (regional officer); email: jr.kim@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4260; fax: +41.22.733.0395