Period covered: July to December 2003
The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 180 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
Appeal coverage: 79.8%; See attached Contributions List for details.
Outstanding needs: none
Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: N/A
Programme Summary: Capacity building programmes continued throughout the region, with clear progress being made in the areas of HIV/AIDS, blood donor recruitment, first aid and disaster management. The cyclone Ami operation in Fiji came to an end in July, with 23 water supply projects and 16 school repair projects completed as well as re-stocking of basic relief supplies. Regional priorities for the coming years were set out during a Pacific partnership meeting held in Brisbane.
An Australian-led regional assistance mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was deployed on 24 July 2003 at the invitation of the government to restore law and order. The following months saw the voluntary surrender or arrest of key rebel leaders and followers, and a large number of arms were handed in under a weapons amnesty. The operation was carried out without any bloodshed, and led to significant improvements in the overall security situation, one of the main aims of the intervention. The Solomon Islands Red Cross provided humanitarian relief to those most affected, including internally displaced people in Honiara and on the Weathercoast. The operation was supported throughout by the ICRC, which re-opened its Honiara office in August.
In July, a Pacific regional partnership meeting in Brisbane provided the opportunity to discuss strategic and operational issues relevant to the region, leading to the adoption of the Pacific Action Plan for the coming years. The meeting was hosted by the Australian Red Cross and attended by representatives from all Red Cross societies of the Pacific region, as well as key partners.
The relief operation following the impact of cyclone Ami in Fiji ended in July, with all proposed school and village water supplies restored and school roof repairs completed.
Health and care
Goal: National societies in the Pacific have the necessary knowledge, information, skills and technical support to implement quality programmes in HIV/AIDS, first aid, community based self reliance and voluntary blood donor recruitment that meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities and individuals.
Objective: By the end of 2004, five national societies have the technical capacity in health and care to provide quality programmes and service delivery to the most vulnerable.
Expected result: National societies in the Pacific have access to and knowledge of HIV/AIDS resources to assist in the development and implementation of their programmes.
The regional HIV/AIDS programme is well underway, with overall management responsibility delegated to the Australian Red Cross. Activities focused on agreed priorities including awareness, peer education and fighting discrimination and stigma. National societies organised specific HIV/AIDS activities for World AIDS Day. In addition to regular activities covering the entire region, the programme has now also entered the targeted stream phase. The technical HIV/AIDS committee received six proposals for targeted funding for programmes for 2004, three of which were selected by the committee -- the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Kiribati. Representatives from these societies then attended a one week workshop and worked more closely with the facilitators on their programme. Prior to the workshop, the Pacific regional HIV/AIDS committee met to develop its terms of reference.
Following the Federation's formal acceptance into the Pacific Islands Region Country Coordinating Mechanism (PIRCCM) the regional health delegate and the Australian Red Cross project manager attended the fourth Pacific PIRCCM Global Fund meeting. The Federation has also been invited to the regional strategic group for coordinating HIV/AIDS activities in the Pacific. The group will be hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) as the principal recipient for the PIRCCM, with a first meeting scheduled for early 2004.
The UNAIDS office in Suva donated one hundred "Fleet of Hope" back-packs, which will be used for first aid and HIV/AIDS activities at the community level. The back-packs contain basic information and educational materials on HIV/AIDS and are a joint project by the regional delegation and UNAIDS.
Six field officers/volunteers participated in a youth peer education workshop run by the AIDS Task Force, Fiji. Puppet theatre remains a key activity for community education in the region. Samoa Red Cross volunteers developed new puppets, while the Cook Islands and Tonga Red Cross Societies facilitated training for new puppeteers. An evaluation of the puppet theatre approach will take place in 2004.
Expected result: Seven national societies' first aid programmes comply with agreed quality standards.
The first aid quality management committee met in Melbourne to discuss progress, and agreed on key tasks for the future. Quality auditing continues and first aid technical audits have now been concluded in three countries, with four more to follow soon. The New Zealand Red Cross will fund a first aid delegate to be based in Suva for one year from early 2004, who will support the implementation of the agreed action plan.
First aid field officers teaching in maritime schools representing seven national societies were invited for the first time to attend the Maritime First Aid at Sea advance training conducted by SPC.
In September, World First Aid Day was marked in the region with seven national societies conducting special activities.
Expected result: In coordination with ICRC, two national societies have first aid in conflict programmes.
The importance of developing guidelines and training modules for the provision of first aid in conflict situations was highlighted at the Brisbane partnership meeting. The head of delegation attended a workshop hosted by the ICRC in Jakarta on "safer access", both for Red Cross workers and to people in need. The meeting was attended by national society staff from Nepal, Indonesia and three Pacific countries - Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea, as well as representatives from the Federation and ICRC. Further decisions on how best to incorporate first aid in conflict throughout the Pacific will be taken once the guidelines have been finalised in Geneva.
Expected result: Three national societies have the necessary expertise in vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) and community-based self reliance (CBSR) to work on small island communities.
The Papua New Guinea and Cook Island Red Cross Societies continued community-based self reliance (CBSR) training in remote communities. A training of trainers (ToT) workshop, facilitated by the regional health and disaster management delegates as well as the secretary general of the Cook Islands Red Cross, was held for 23 participants from the Tonga Red Cross headquarters and branches in Nuku'alofa. An action plan for follow-up by three Tonga Red Cross branches was developed during the meeting.
Expected result: Five national societies have well-functioning voluntary blood donor recruitment programmes and up-to-date databases.
A safe blood workshop was held in Kiribati for Red Cross and Ministry of Health staff, in close cooperation with and funded by World Health Organisation (WHO). The workshop was facilitated by the secretary general of the Samoa Red Cross.
Red Cross societies in Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands revised their memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health regarding their role and legal responsibilities in blood donor recruitment. Both the Kiribati and Samoa Red Cross Societies are in the process of concluding a similar agreement. Blood donor databases have been updated in eleven national societies, and further database development will take place in 2004.
A 30-minute interview with the regional health delegate on voluntary blood donor recruitment was broadcast on television in 16 Pacific countries.
A regional workshop on safe blood and voluntary blood donor recruitment took place in early December in Suva. A total of 24 national society staff will be trained in using the Federation's "Making a Difference" manual for recruiting voluntary non-remunerated blood donors. They will also have skills to plan and implement programmes on donor recruitment in their national societies. The workshop will be co-funded by the Global Fund for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (GFATM) and the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Expected result: Five national societies have benefited from each others experiences and capitalised on opportunities offered by the Red Cross partners and external agencies.
The review of the regional health and care programme was debated at the Brisbane partnership meeting. The main conclusions and comments were taken into consideration for the Pacific Action Plan and the annual appeal 2004.
Regional and national workshops on HIV/AIDS, safe blood and CBSR promoted the sharing of ideas and experiences by participants, and two national societies have been co-facilitating workshops for sister societies.
In general, Red Cross societies have been more involved with their respective Ministries of Health and with other partners such a WHO and the National Aids Councils. The regional delegation also continues to liaise with external partners such as SPC, UNDP, UNICEF, UNAIDS and the Pacific Island AIDS Foundation (PIAF), and participated in meetings of the working group for health and population of the Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific.
During the reporting period there has been clear progress in all programme areas. First aid technical audits show improvements in both quality and coverage, and the well-established first aid working group is providing guidance and direction to national societies. Most national societies have now incorporated HIV/AIDS programming into their agendas, often integrating the issue into regular activities, and three national societies are taking part in the targeted stream. The review of the health and care programme was completed, and a final report submitted to the regional delegation and at the 11th Partnership meeting. While generally positive, it highlighted the need for communication and closer national society ownership and involvement in programme design.
Perhaps the most significant impact has been in the area of safe blood, where national societies are defining their roles and responsibilities in voluntary blood donor recruitment and stepping up involvement. The number of voluntary blood donors has increased throughout the region, and it is hoped that this positive trend will continue.
Effective communication within and between national societies remains an important challenge. There is often poor access to internet and e-mail, and information does not always reach those intended. Narrative reporting also continues to be relatively weak, and certainly needs to be improved further.
As described above, most national societies in the Pacific have limited human and financial resources to carry out their work. Volunteer development is a major challenge for the future and will be rucial to the effectiveness of community programmes and branch development alike.
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