Tajikistan + 4 more

Central Asia Programme Update No. 3 (Appeal No. 01.52/2002)

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This Programme Update is intended for reporting on Annual Appeals.
Appeal No. 01.52/2002
Appeal Target: CHF 8,263,482
Period covered: July - September 2002

"At a Glance"

Appeal coverage: 51.2%
Related Appeals: N/A
Outstanding needs: While this appeal received only limited support in 2002 preventing a number of planned activities from being implemented, donors are encouraged to turn their focus to supporting the Federation’s 2003 Annual Appeal for Central Asia (no. 01.87/2003).

Operational Developments:

During the reporting period two new Heads of Delegation arrived in the region; in Dushanbe and Almaty. They have been briefed by the respective Central Asian National Societies (CANS) and delegations/laision offices. There were no external events within the region which has had any major effect upon the humanitarian situation or Red Cross/Crescent planning or actions. The support for the CANS through the disaster management will be reflected into each specific Disaster Management (DM) objective under disaster response and preparedness. Furthermore, the diversification of donors and the positive response by the British Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross and Canadian Red Cross to the annual Disaster Preparedness (DP) programme enable the CANS to implement planned activities in stable manner. However, a Term of Reference (TOR) was developed for the evaluation of the regional DP programme with focus on training. The TOR has been shared with the CANS and PNSs and expected to receive candidates nomination and their CVs for setting up the team and conduct the evaluation before the end of the year.

Disaster Response

Objective 1:To improve knowledge and skills within the national societies (staff and volunteers)

Turkmen Red Crescent branch successfully responded to the landslides in Turkmenistan, in Govurdak assisting 95 most affected families. Kazakhstan was hit by step and forest fires during July-September. Kazakh Red Crescent staff and volunteers took part in fire elimination, supporting to the emergency fire brigades to put out fire in four provinces through digging anti fire canals and setting up first aid posts, while branches supported them with food, rest and first aid. Kazakh Red Crescent responded to 20 small scale local disasters providing assistance to the most affected from its own resources.

A follow up on the recent Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) training, conducted in May 2002 by the regional DM unit should indicate the progress made by CANS for the preparation for the second RDRT workshop and establishment of a RDRT guidelines and procedures for deployment, which need to be developed in consultation with the CANS and their Governments for their agreement and commitment. Two Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment (VCA) trainings were conducted during the reporting period in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for technical staff. Workshop curriculum included a number of topics addressing VCA concept and goals, inputs/resources required, relevant tools and methods as well as final expected outcome of the process. The workshop was conducted in an interactive way and allowed to share/replicate similar trainings for other staff at different levels. Tentative region-specific plans, describing step by step actions, inputs required, responsible actors and average timelines for vulnerability and capacity assessment process were developed at the end of each workshop. Workshop curriculum was designed in a way allowing the National Societies to use plans of actions and training materials for successful implementation of VCA-oriented activities in future. Similar workshop incorporating OD and health elements is planned for Tajikistan at the end of October, to entail practical elements, with the view of coming assessment, such as field testing of the developed questionnaire and training of the interviewers.

Objective 2: To support national societies in their efforts to facilitate post-disaster rehabilitation and increase the population’s resilience by mobilising community resources.

After successful six month emergency response operation Uzbek Red Crescent continued monitoring the development of situation on the ground through early warning system, installation of five provinces, most affected by the drought. Uzbek Red Crescent staff and volunteers carried out data collection to track the dynamics of this slow-onset disaster and its continuous impact on the population.. Recommendations for future interventions based on this data aim to address longer-term recovery needs. At this stage, three main areas of intervention had been identified by the Uzbek Red Crescent - emergency management (early warning system and disaster response training); community-based health education and capacity building. National Society, supported by the International Federation, is currently seeking funds to implement outlined rehabilitation activities. It is the third time when one of the National Societies in the region addresses long-term post-emergency needs of the community, and the first time when such activities are addressing a slow-onset disaster, as previous experience relates to post-flooding rehabilitation in Kazakhstan.

Objective 3: To improve logistics management within the national societies of central Asia

As mentioned in the previous report the best option for the warehouse construction will be metal construction according to building passport and soil structure. Regional logistics unit is processing CBA analysis of offers received from three construction companies. Worth to mention that Turkmen Red Crescent is making contribution to the construction which is funded by British Red Cross, however, the funds available may not be enough for the completion of the project unless divided into two phases. Position of the Federation logistics assistant in Turkmenistan has been extended for one year at the specific request of the TRCS to continue the support in procurement of DP stock, construction of strategic warehouse and to provide the job training to the Uzbek Red Crescent and Turkmen Red Crescent. Regional logistics unit supported CANS throughout the Afghan Crisis appeal implementation, as well as to the Tajikistan delegation in procurement and transport services. Other support included:

  • Printing and transport of 125,000 DP brochures from Kazakhstan to Uzbek Red Crescent
  • The printing and transport of 250 DPP training modules for the national societies of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
  • Provision of spare parts and maintenance service for the Uzbek Red Crescent Mercedes Truck during the reporting period.
  • Assistance to the CANS in maintenance their fleet under DP programme.
  • Installation of radios in CANS branches and vehicles and ensuring maintenance for the overall radio network in Central Asia.

Regional logistics workshop for the five CANS, Federation and PNS planned for December 2002 will be facilitated by logistics /Secretariat and regional delegation in Almaty and will focus on following objectives :
  • To build up the logistics capacity of National Societies
  • To work towards the co-ordination of effective logistics response in the Federation emergency operations and ongoing programs.
  • To increase understanding and mobilisation of logistics within the national societies.

Population Movement

Objective 1: To improve the social status for vulnerable groups of population

To improve the desperate situation of Afghan refugees in Central Asia, the Afghan Women Refugee were assisted with publication of monthly magazine aimed at increasing awareness among local communities on refugees vulnerabilities as well as at increasing local tolerance towards people on move, improvement of dignity, social and psychological status. Three editions of the magazine were printed in Dari, Pashto and Russian languages in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyz Red Crescent is running computer courses for 49 Afghan refugee women and three months computer courses for 25 youth, four months accounting courses for five people, music classes for ten people funded by British Red Cross. With the support of UNHCR and IOM, two social rehabilitation centres in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan provided Afghan Women and Kazakh repatriates with vocational training and legal consultations to increase their employment opportunities and raise awareness in legal issues. Tajik Red Crescent and Turkmen Red Crescent provide vocational training for Afghan refugees within Humanitarian Crisis appeal to train in professional skills and increase job opportunities of refugees.

Objective 2: To improve the nutritional status of the most vulnerable families in the displaced communities and reduce their reliance on humanitarian food aid.

Due to lack of funding this objective was not met.

Objective 3: To improve the social and economic status and increase self-reliance of displaced communities in the region.

Turkmen Red Crescent in cooperation with UNHCR runs income generating project for Afghan and Tajik refugees in Ashgabat. Bakery project funded by the UNHCR provides 50 refugees with bread and another 10 with jobs.

Disaster Preparedness

Objective 1: To develop disaster preparedness plans of national societies in the region with clear policies and operational guidelines and procedures.

Development of operational guidelines and disaster preparedness policies have been initiated by the Kazakh Red Crescent, Kyrgyz Red Crescent, Uzbek Red Crescent and Turkmen Red Crescent Societies while Tajik Red Crescent signed an agreement with the Ministry of Emergency in which they had specified the areas of cooperation and support. Furthermore, the Tajik Red Crescent is revising it’s disaster management structure and procedures accordingly. Uzbek Red Crescent has developed time frame for development of its DP plan. In the development of their DP plan Turkmen Red Crescent is organising disaster information system based on data collection from different sources including government agencies (Ministry for Emergencies, Ministry of Health) and non-governmental organisations through working groups set up at branches. Kyrgyz Red Crescent DP plan is being developed by emergency committee at headquarters level, based on DP plans of the branch emergency committees. The role of emergency committees organised this spring is to coordinate disaster response activities and develop DP operational procedures and guidelines. Kazakh Red Crescent developed DP policy and procedures jointly with all branch DP officers. It is worth mentioning that Kazakhstan the only country in the region that has a national disaster preparedness plan in which the role of the national society has been clearly defined and the national society has been involved actively in the DP plan development. Furthermore, other national societys in the region are working in close coordination with their government counterparts, particularly Ministry/Agency of Emergency in most of the DP related activities including the DP plan development.

Objective 2: To strengthen the capacity of the national societies in the region to respond to disasters effectively and on time.

Twenty one DP workshops (8 in Turkmenistan, 3 in Uzbekistan, 9 in Kazakhstan, 1 in Kyrgyzstan) held during the reporting period mainly focused on training in vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA), community based disaster preparedness, project planning and relief for branches bordering Afghanistan. In order to systematise DP training, Uzbek Red Crescent developed a training curriculum for DP centres on training of trainers for volunteers together with the relevant training materials and guidelines. Kazakh Red Crescent conducted training in CBDP, water rescue and first aid among communities at risk. On July 17, Kazakh Red Crescent together with the ICRC conducted field simulation on conflict preparedness involving IHL, health, information and youth to train headquarters staff and volunteers roles and responsibilities of the components of the Movement according to Seville agreement in the situation of conflict or disaster to incorporate these provisions into the National Society’s DP plan. Computer data base was developed to register every trainee for effective use of resources.

CANS are finalising planned procurement of DP stock for this year. Uzbek Red Crescent and Turkmen Red Crescent are currently making procurement under the Afghan Crisis appeal. Kazakh Red Crescent, Turkmen Red Crescent and Uzbek Red Crescent prepared inventory for existing stock in their DP warehouses. Kazakhstan finalised procurement for two DP centres and procurement for the third centre is underway.

Objective 3: To link different elements of disaster management such as early warning, risk mapping, prevention and mitigation activities to address the gap between the community’s vulnerability and the existing capacity

Based on the results of the VCA Turkmen Red Crescent is continuing mitigation projects to reduce risks and vulnerabilities of people and agricultural lands to specific disasters, such as mudslides and floods. Projects include construction of dam in the Sumbar river, which will reduce the threat of mudslides and increase the area of arable lands by 180 hectares; desertification, through planting a six raw green belt of trees of 2.3 km long, which will protect Seidi city from sand storms and drifts. Roles and responsibilities were agreed with local authorities and participation, commitments and contributions were announced by different stakeholders.

Uzbek Red Crescent DP capacity building and preparation for any emergency and population movement from Afghanistan is carried out in Kashkadarya branch. Earthquake simulation took place in August to exercise coordinated joint action of Red Crescent and government in emergency. Uzbek Red Crescent staff and volunteers, community members and governmental emergency structures took part in the event. Kyrgyz Red Crescent continues mitigation projects in Osh and Naryn oblasts, focusing on drainage of debris flow collectors to protect rural communities from mudflows. The projects are implemented by Kyrgyz Red Crescent staff and volunteers, local authorities and communities themselves, and aimed to increase volunteer base through recruitment and training of new volunteers among communities at risk.

Within mitigation project based on VCA in Central Kazakhstan, Kazakh Red Crescent constructed a 150 meter long snow belt as a protection from snowdrifts. This will allow to prevent remote Karagai village from cut of communications, food supply, access to hospitals and schools during winter months. The important aspect of this small cost effective operation is a community initiative supported by the Kazakh Red Crescent and the Federation Regional Delegation. As a result of community based disaster preparedness projects, risk mapping was finalised in six areas, volunteer training is underway and community plan of action for disaster response is being developed. Water rescue project has been completed with following impact: 500 children are trained in swimming, over 800 water risk awareness lectures carried out in the beaches, 3,000 leaflets distributed, 65 people received first aid assistance and 5 lives were rescued by the Red Crescent volunteers. Competition held between water rescue teams was aimed to demonstrate and improve skills, contribute to motivation of volunteers and improve the Red Crescent image.

Objective 4. To increase awareness in communities at risk and in selected disaster prone areas.

To ensure the increased awareness among communities at risk, Turkmen Red Crescent produced additionally 1,000 calendars (2002-2003), 25,000 booklets and 4,000 posters with emphasis on earthquakes, floods, fires and debris flows. All the printed materials were distributed among local branches with special attention to areas envisaged for community based disaster preparedness projects. Two volunteer clubs were established in two provinces of Turkmenistan, which along with other clubs carry out planned CBDP activities. In bordering Afghanistan areas dissemination of Red Crescent principles, history of Movement, and Turkmen Red Crescent activities were carried out through organising of six workshops. Over 125,000 DP brochures were printed for Uzbek Red Crescent branches. Kazakh Red Crescent initiated development of a booklet with focus on floods for four branches in floods prone areas (4 types, 10,000 pieces) and flyers on winter hazards (10 000 pieces ) to prevent accidents in the coming winter. Web site of Kazakh national society developed under the DP programme is being regularly updated, reflecting activities held by different Red Crescent programmes. The site are registered at several servers and searching systems within Kazakhstan. The site is widely visited by EMCOM (Emergency Committee) and NGOs in the country.

Objective 5. To strengthen the technical, administrative and human resources capacity of the five national societies focusing more on the oblast/rayon level.

The regional DP programme continues administrative and salary support to the four CANS (Kazakh Red Crescent, Kyrgyz Red Crescent, Uzbek Red Crescent and Turkmen Red Crescent) on a monthly basis. It also maintains office support, development of Internet and communication skills. Uzbek Red Crescent received approval from the government on free land for the construction of National Society’s warehouse in Tashkent. New HF radio for Dzhalalabad branch (Kyrgyzstan) will be installed by the end of October 2002, as soon as the Kyrgyz Red Crescent finalises customs procedures, to allow better communication within the Society and the region, as well as to improve technical capacities of the Red Crescent branch. Kazakh Red Crescent has installed computers and printers in 2 DP centres to facilitate data processing, improvement of training materials and with inventory purposes. The data stored in computers, as well as links to the Internet connections will help the two DP centres to have access to the necessary information, particularly on area at risk, on material and human resources available, in order to be more prepared for disaster response.

Objective 6. To improve and maintain good integration/links with other programmes and other organisations.

The DP programme is run in close cooperation with other programmes and organisations in all four CANS in order to provide cohesive approach, better impact and better use of resources. In Turkmenistan DP programme involves youth and health components through joint workshops (three workshops at branch level/IHL/nurses), as well as regular Search and Rescue Team training for youth and disabled athletes. The latter are trained on self-help and self-rescuing skills. Kazakh Red Crescent has well established cooperation with State Committee for Emergencies and ICRC in the areas of disaster and conflict preparedness. Kyrgyz Red Crescent, after signing the agreement with the state Rescue Service, organised joint patrol and rescue points to provide rescue and first aid assistance. Kyrgyz Red Crescent has developed a draft agreement on provision of the first aid training services to the state emergency structure. All national societys have distributed World Disaster Report (WDR 2002) among its branches and different organisations in their respective countries (totally 500 Russian copies, 200 English copies). Furthermore, there are ongoing negotiations with JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) on joint contribution to the earthquake preparedness project which was originally initiated by the American Red Cross.

Humanitarian Values

Objective 1. To promote the Red Cross and Red Crescent Fundamental Principles and humanitarian values within and outside the Movement.

Kyrgyz Red Crescent made two presentations of a book on IHL for school teachers in Bishkek and Chu province to introduce basic principles of International Humanitarian Law, Fundamental Principles and history of the Movement. The third presentation is planned for October. In Turkmenistan, the Red Crescent youth volunteers staged a performance on IHL to celebrate Geneva Convention Day within summer camp programme, which was widely covered by national media, including radio, TV and press. Kazakh Red Crescent organised a Red Crescent display at annual charity fair organised by the Business Women Association for promotion of Red Crescent activities and image among international and local business companies and diplomatic corps in Almaty.

Objective 2. To raise the profile within the region at branch and national level, as well as outside the region and in general public, of the activities and key messages in the core areas.

The Information Officer in Kazakhstan is currently involved in joint Kazakh Red Crescent/State Emergency Committee project to upgrade National Emergency Database and update the Society’s web page for general public.

Objective 3. To advocate on behalf of vulnerable people, promoting public support and understanding of the situation for people affected by issues, related to HIV/AIDS. TB, disasters and migration

In September the Regional Delegation organised a two-days meeting in Almaty for the CANS technical staff on Regional Action to reduce discrimination and violence in community as a follow up to Berlin conference. The meeting set up a resource group for the future regional action. Head of Principles and Values Department of the Federation Secretariat supported the workshop with the methodology, training materials and experience from four other pilot regions involved in global anti-discrimination action. The main objective of the meeting was to obtain a consent on importance and commitment of the CANS to address the issue through the ongoing programmes. Presidents of all five CANS reconfirmed their endorsement of the regional anti-discrimination action during their regular meeting. Discussions on possible cooperation with the ICRC on a regional action took place during the ICRC representatives regular visits to Almaty.

"Youth against AIDS" action took place in Issyk-Ata and Kemin provinces of Kyrgyzstan in August 2002 to raise concern on HIV/AIDS risks and educate youth in AIDS prevention through games, quizzes and distribution of related publications.

In Kazakhstan, a media mission was organised to three Southern provinces for the opening of three social-educational centres for repatriants, in order to highlight Kazakh Red Crescent activities to reduce vulnerabilities among refugee communities and cooperation with other international organisations. The media reported high appreciation of the Kazakh Red Crescent programme supported by IOM among beneficiaries and local authorities.

Objective 4. To develop the communication capacity of national societies and to involve volunteers in information activities.

Turkmen Red Crescent released four issues of the Society’s newsletter (1,000 copies) in Turkmen and Russian languages for the purpose of improvement of internal communications between Headquarters and branches. Newsletter is the most appropriate communication tool that provide the staff and volunteers with an up to date information on national society activities across the country as well as the Movement major events. At the same time the national society newsletter is the best to place the information provided by branches.

Kyrgyz Red Crescent information department developed a training module and carried out training for youth volunteers in communications skills. Trained Red Crescent branch volunteers conduct regular campaigns and trainings to address health promotion and awareness issues among province and rural youth, who are limited in information on HIV/AIDS and other health issues.

Health and Care

Objective 1. To prevent the increase in the incidence of tuberculosis

Prevention of the increase of TB incidence in the region is carried out through advocacy and support of DOTS implementation, decrease the number of defaulters among patients under the DOTS treatment., and increased awareness on tuberculosis among the population/community/institutions. The table below indicates number of projects per country and funding source:

Country
Number of projects
Funding source
Kazakhstan
2
Regional health Norwegian RC, DFID
Kyrgyzstan
4
TACIS / Spanish RC / Federation
Tajikistan
1
Federation
Turkmenistan
1
Regional programme Norwegian RC / DFID
Uzbekistan
2
Regional health
Norwegian RC / DFID

Total number of TB patients under the supervision of the Red Crescent nurses in the region is around 1,000, with average number of 95 defaulters and 378 of new cases every months. Aimed at increase level of public health awareness on TB CANS conducted over 279 health campaigns in schools, 587 in public places (markets, factories etc.), distributed 1,900 printed material on TB. Apart from that, TB patients received social support through distribution of 339 food parcels and 354 hygiene kit as well as hot meals to 100 patients in soup kitchens.

Health promotion activities (TOT for Red Crescent nurses, health campaigns etc.) lead to the conclusion that

  • better coordination is needed between the CANS and local health authorities in designing and printing materials
  • better training of community nurses is required (adult learning methodology)
  • responsibilities of the Red Crescent nurses need revision to take into account workload (number of patients) and time allocation for one patient in order to have adequate and consistent messages and provide quality and effective health promotion campaigns for better impact.

Objective 2: To prevent the predicted HIV/AIDS epidemics in the region

Representatives of all CANS took part in the ERNA (European Red Cross /Red Crescent Network for AIDS) meeting in September in Armenia along with 30 European national societies to discuss HIV/AIDS issues. All participants expressed the high interest and appreciation of the work of the meeting and the presentation on Harm Reduction made by the Croatian Red Cross.

Kyrgyz Red Crescent with the support of British Rred Cross and the Federation initiated HIV/AIDS prevention project for schoolchildren. The implementation of project started with negotiations and permissions from the Ministry of Education has bee obtained, volunteers received T-shirts with Red Crescent logo, 3,000 copies of posters and 2,000 booklets were printed according to the plan. Video on HIV prevention has been translated into Russian and presented during trainings. As a result, 166 young volunteers trained as trainers conducted training for 2,844 people, and public awareness campaigns for 924 participants.

Objective 3. To improve the health of women and their children

To improve poor health of women and children in the region CANS carried out supervision of pregnant women by trained family nurses, provided training sessions for pregnant women in safe sex / pregnancy / delivery / family planning and organised and equipped four women’s centre, three in Kazakhstan (Japanese Red Crescent/Federation) and one in Uzbekistan (Federation regional health). The activities result in reduction of complications in deliveries and increased awareness among women in safe motherhood, breast feeding and immunisation.

Objective 4. To intervene effectively in emergencies with basic first aid.

During the reporting period 80 trained Turkmen Red Crescent volunteers run 375 first aid session for 3,445 school children and 60 training sessions for 443 adult. The sessions include basic information on prevention of most common communicable diseases. The activities also address issues of volunteer recruitment and publications of training and information material.

Objective 5. To raise the profile and capacity of the national societies in the region.

The deadline for the second call of submission of proposals for Global Funding have been successfully met by the CANS. Four National Societies are invited in CCM’s (Country Coordination Mechanisms) of respective countries. Red Crescent Societies of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan applied for Global funds to implement alongside with other partners Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS programmes.

Institutional and Resource Development

Objective 1. To improve the legal basis and image of the national societies by 2003.

Based on the joint commitment made during regional Leadership training in June 2002, all CANS developed plans of action to revise their statutes and adopt contemporary structure with clear division between governance and management. This is a step forward through the change process, although there is a concern regarding future of the current leadership and prospects of interactions and cooperation between governance and management.

Both Federation and CANS have included respective projects into Appeal 2003-2004. It is planned to start the process with a preliminary meetings facilitated by a consultant from a sister National Society who has been through a similar change process in the past.

Objective 2. To promote leadership and management skills in the national societies in order to implement effective organisational changes.

The two days tailored management workshops in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were rescheduled to November 2002. After a two month delay of the regional financial management workshop as both, Finance delegate in Dushanbe and Programme coordinator in Almaty were acting HOD and HORD in the respective delegations, the meeting will take place in October. Two representatives of each CANS (senior manager and finance officer) will take part in the workshop to analyse a pilot development process of Tajikistan Red Crescent financial management. The experience is expected to be built on and applied in the rest CANS. Fundraising officer of Kyrgyz Red Crescent will be trained and work as a regional resource person supported by the regional programme coordinator, following the participation in the Red Crescent Fundraising Skill-sharing meeting in Netherlands in October. It is planned to make a clear link between fundraising activities of CANS and organisational development framework (structure and statutes, management in general, financial management and the image of the national society which is strongly based on branches’ work. The official PPP (Project Planning Process) training will be facilitated in Almaty with the Secretariat OD department input at the end of October. It is planned to involve two participants from each CANS to become resource persons and trainers in their respective national societies. This will be a follow-up to country based unofficial PPP training carried out earlier this year. After Almaty official PPP training the regional reporting officer will be promoted as official Federation PPP trainer, who will support the CANS resource persons in their conducting of PPP in their own societies. Having got all this completed we‘ll have a strong capacity in PPP in the region.

Objective 3. To build capacity at branch level in order to increase branch effectiveness, strengthen community participation in the Red Cross and Red Crescent and build local sustanability.

Regional monitoring and review of organisational activities in the region with specific focus on capacity building, sustainability and RAS implementation was carried out in July - August 2002. One day workshop with CANS leadership, programme managers and province branch representatives was carried out in every society of the region. All partners received terms of reference and a questionnaire (including CARD programme managers). The report based on monitoring and review is due to be ready by the end of November. Branch development fund was established (15,000 USD) to make ten grants of 1,500 USD available for CANS own initiatives. A precondition for the grant was a 15 % financial input and no core costs included. The project is in line with CANS strategic plans and RAS and will contribute to building branch capacities. Projects that promote cross-sectoral links (health, DM, youth, information) based on logical framework approach were encouraged.

Turkmen Red Crescent raised 4,600 USD through successful fundraising activities in three branches. Funds raised will be used for strengthening branches and procurement of food and supplies to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities in respective branches to improve image and raise profile of the society.

Objective 4. To establish a sustainable, vibrant Red Cross and Red Crescent youth movement and Red Cross and Red Crescent approach to volunteering in central Asia.

Youth volunteers in the region organised summer camps to exchange experience and ideas, conduct first aid training, promotion of healthy life style, conflict resolution and dissemination of IHL. Tajik Red Crescent volunteers run volunteers management training for seven Kazakh Red Crescent branch volunteers and provided certificates. Kazakh Red Crescent youth conducted training at summer camps on conflict. Kyrgyz Red Crescent youth invited 61 street children and 20 orphans along with Red Crescent volunteers, who were in charge of organising training and leisure for disadvantaged children. Uzbek Red Crescent hosted 30 Korean Red Cross youth volunteers to promote youth cooperation, exchange of ideas and experience. Further development of Uzbek Red Crescent Youth Movement through establishment of youth primary organisations across the country and the setting up of a Youth department at the headquarters was discussed at the National Presidium in September

Objective 5. To diversify the funding base of the national societies in the region to improve their financial sustainability

No major activities took place during this reporting period. However it is planned to have a regional fundraising training early December, with Kyrgyz Red Crescent fundraising officer as a resource person in the region.

Objective 6. To build a strong network of people from within and outside the region who can provide technical support to further development of the national societies in the region.

Fundraising resource person identified for the region has extensive respective experience within the National Society. It is planned to build on the experience and establish network of fundraisers in the region starting from the December current year.

With the agreement of Tajik Red Crescent the Volunteer Management manual will be shared with other CANS to improve volunteer management in their respective societies.

Regional Cooperation

Objective 1. To co-ordinate the implementation of a coherent regional assistance strategy to address issues of vulnerability in central Asia.

During the period, dialogue has been ongoing with all Movement partners regarding adherence to the regional assistance strategy. All partners have agreed that this is a process, not a final document and that required dynamism must be evidenced by changing activities and objectives outlined within the documentation. A process has been initiated whereby the process of discussion will continue with a new document being published toward the end of 2003.

Objective 2. To promote partnership in order to increase the impact of the work of the national societies in the region by building on the comparative advantages of different components of the Movement and other organisations.

In mid July, the ICRC held a planning meeting as part of "planning for results". This was attended by the leadership of five National Societies of the region and the Regional Federation Delegation. This will be augmented by the forthcoming partnership meeting of all partner National Societies which will be attended by the ICRC.

Objective 3. To strengthen links between the national societies in the region at all levels co-operation and to promote their lead role in setting the Movement’s agenda in the region.

The CANS leadership meeting was the key part of implementation of this objective during the last three months. The role of agenda setting was discussed at length and Federation support in this endeavour was reiterated.

Objective 4. To increase the participation of the national societies in the region in global activities of the Federation and wider civil society.

Mentioned in other parts of this report; the acceptance of the National Societies into the global country coordinating mechanisms for specific health issues is germane. As is the disaster mitigation cooperation with Government.

Coordination and Management

Objective 1. To provide efficient management, co-ordination of and practical support to the Federation and partner national societies in their assistance to national society development and programmes in the sphere of health, disaster preparedness and response and promotion of humanitarian values.

During the reporting period the Regional Delegation has been continuing to support the American Red Cross as the sole Participating National Society in the region. This takes the form of practical assistance, such as legal contracts for staff, housing, etc. During the period, the Regional Delegation held discussions with the American Red Cross delegates regarding the capacity building benefits and directions of a proposed new health related project in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. An agreement has been reached whereby the American Red Cross in association with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) will be supported by the Federation both financially and with other resources in undertaking an evaluation of TB programme incentives. This will take place throughout the coming year.

A meeting of the 5 Presidents of the CANS was held in mid September. This was very fruitful; the main item on the agenda was the forthcoming partnership meeting, the outcomes of which will be reported in the next period. Also discussed at the meeting and in bilateral negotiations with the CARD HORD was the strategy of and the nature of expertise delivery to the CANS. This will be further elaborated and reported in the next period.

The Netherlands Red Cross visited the region during the period. Discussions were held with the desk officer and the CARD was informed as to the nature of the programmes which will be supported by the NRCS in the coming year. Training activities continued apace and have been reported in detail in the sector sections of this report.

Objective 2. To raise and maintain the profile of central Asia in the Movement and of the Movement in central Asia and establish networks for knwoledge-sharing with key stakeholders.

There have been several web based articles from the region posted on the Federation web site. The two new HODs have been instrumental in representing the Movement in their respective capacities and countries of assignment.

Numerous articles (reported in the sector report) have been published during the period in the media within the countries of the CANS.

Objective 3. To mobilize resources from within and outside the region through co-ordinated mechanisms in promotionof humanitarian values, health, disaster preparedness, disaster response and organisational development.

During the period, 3 countries have joined the community of global fund HIV/AIDS and TB members. This has been done in collaboration with their Governments and they deserve congratulations on grasping this funding and knowledge sharing opportunity.

The Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan Red Crescent, supported by the Federation have been busy securing support from their authorities at different levels for disaster preparedness and mitigation projects.

Objective 4. To establish an effective and efficient Federation structure in the region to maximize local capacities and to implement the regional assistance strategy.

During the reporting period, a change was implemented such that the country Delegation in Tajikistan now reports to the Regional Delegation. This brings opportunity for synergies in staffing and other resources which will be more cost effective.

Outstanding needs

The main issue is a very poor response for both information and population movement activities, despite being adopted at the Berlin conference as areas of concern and focus of the European National Societies.

For further details please contact: Michaela Told, Phone: 41 22 730 44 24; Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: michaela.told@ifrc.org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

Lynette Lowndes
Head
Europe Department

John Horekens
Director
External Relations Division

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