Programme purpose: Support Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS), a leading indigenous community-based humanitarian organisation in Sudan, to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability in their country.
Programmes summary: The year 2008 marked three years after the peace agreement was signed in 2005, after a pan-Sudan health assessment was conducted by the Federation. This was proceeded by a high level visit of Red Cross Red Crescent leaders in October 2005 and the FACT deployment to south Sudan in November 2005 followed by the returnee support appeal launched by the Federation, and the Sudan transitional appeal for 2006-2007.
Achievements of these three years include emergency assistance provided to some 145,000 people en-rout and at final destinations under the returnee support programme. The period also saw a number of ideas borne of a desire to improve effectiveness and efficiency of Red Cross and Red Crescent work in Sudan, start materialising. The National Community Health Volunteer Programme (NCHVP) was launched in 12 states. Under the programme, more than 700 volunteer leaders and close to 17,000 community health volunteers have been trained in community based health and first aid.
Equally remarkable were the changes introduced by the SRCS leadership in the way the National Society (NS) is organised and works. Changing is never an easy task yet it is a prerequisite for any organisation willing to be relevant and responsive to ever changing environment. Committed to reforms, the SRCS adopted a number of important policies and embarked on internal restructuring to better meet the needs of the vulnerable. A computerized finance management system was introduced at the NS headquarters and seven branches. SRCS staff was trained. The most notable results have been the establishment of the secretariat and a framework for SRCS branch development in Southern Sudan.
The major thrust of the Federation's efforts went to supporting disaster response by the SRCS: Federation mobilized resources which enabled the SRCS to provide emergency assistance - shelter, food, safe water, sanitation or access to basic health care - to an estimated 1.7 m flood affected people in 2006 and 2007. A DREF allocation was made to support SRCS response to the meningitis outbreak in 2007. In 2008, the Federation assisted the SRCS to respond to the Cholera outbreak in Central and Eastern Equatoria states (CHF 250,000 was allocated from the Federation's DREF to mobilize SRCS volunteers for hygiene promotion and chlorination of water sources) and floods (on a much smaller scale to the 2007 operation) tapping into contingency stocks built through the 2007 floods operation and good relations built with the UN Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) in Khartoum.
The Federation helped SRCS reflect on the emergency operations and develop contingency plans for future floods. Contingency plan was developed for a possible population influx in eastern Sudan as well. Logistics training was provided to northern and southern branches. The Federation supported water and sanitation (WatSan) ERU trainings (both in north and south) as well as the procurement of WatSan materials to replenish the SRCS in-country WatSan ERU equipment. This was part of the ongoing efforts, which aim at strengthening SRCS WatSan emergency response capacity and reduce SRCS reliance on expensive international ERU deployments during disasters. The Federation supported the training of national and local disaster response teams. Training in finance management, planning and reporting was organized for southern branches in cooperation with the ICRC. IT/telecom equipments were procured for selected branches to strengthen the communication capacities of the SRCS.
Constraints were many; lack of resources was the major one; volatile security conditions have been another challenge, particularly at the north-south front line; and lack of access has often been a grave concern.
Over the coming years, SRCS seeks an increased support for the capacity building of the National Society. As noted in the SRCS Strategic Plan 2007- 2011, as well as the Federation Country Plan 2009-2010, organisational development and capacity building are key to the SRCS capacity to respond to the humanitarian needs.
Financial situation: The total 2008 budget was CHF 9,118,421 (USD 7,956,734 or EUR 6,042,778), of which 55 per cent was covered. Expenditure overall was 97 per cent of funds received. The budget increased because to absorb projects that had been carried forward from the preceding year; it also incorporates a bilaterally managed primary health care project. Most of the contributions were received towards the end of the year delaying the implementation and affecting, unavoidably, the expenditure levels. Balances were carried forward into the 2009 programmes.