Period covered by this operations update: 1 January to 31 March 2012 Appeal target (current): CHF 1,107,185 Appeal coverage: 102 per cent
Following the Vietnamese New Year, VNRC carried out relief distributions in Long An, An Giang and Dong Thap; these included unconditional cash grants to 1,500 families, water containers (of 300 litres) to 1,200 families and tarpaulins to 1,500 families. All of the distributions were achieved by 15 February according to schedule. During the reporting period, significant progress was made in further strengthening overall coordination between VNRC, IFRC and partner national societies (German Red Cross, French Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross) building on the agreement to move towards promoting a ‘one operation approach’. Following completion of relief phase activities, the VNRC disaster management department with support from IFRC, carried out a field coordination meeting involving participation from each of the three said VNRC provinces, VNRC headquarters staff from the disaster management department, IFRC, French Red Cross, German Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross. This meeting aimed to review the planning process; discuss overall operational coordination among VNRC and Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners both at field and headquarters level; review the implementation of key activities under the relief phase; and to determine areas for further improvement moving into the recovery phase.
Following the water, sanitation and hygiene promotion training, trained staff and volunteers commenced with implementation of two key activities in the education of community members on water-borne disease prevention and distribution of water storage tanks to the most vulnerable families in January and February 2012. Community members in 18 communes in An Giang, Dong Thap, and Long An provinces received key messages about the prevention of diarrhoea, the importance of safe water and hand-washing. Health education on water-borne diseases was also implemented in the form of public campaigns and house-to-house visits, jointly with educational activities on health in emergencies.
Campaigns at district and inter-commune levels were carried out in nine provinces in the period of January-February 2012. These focused on raising awareness and practices to prevent households from falling sick due to water-borne diseases, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and dengue fever. The campaigns have involved volunteers, staff of VNRC and other stakeholders who use public communication skills and community theatre to attract target audiences and disseminate key messages. There have been approximately 3,000 people including mothers of children under five years, care givers, volunteers and representatives of local authorities who participated in the public campaigns in the 18 target communes. The campaigns called for preventive actions such as safe water storage, hand washing, and environmental cleaning among other preventive messages. Local media covered these campaigns in order to reach the wider public in the theme of disease prevention.
Upon completion of relief activities, VNRC with the support from IFRC commenced mapping out the planning process for the recovery phase. In moving forward, it was agreed that a detailed needs assessment was required in order to identify priority target communities under the shelter programme, as well as verify whether livelihoods support provided with cash grants for boats and fishing nets were still relevant needs. From the discussions and lessons highlighted from the field coordination meeting in February, it was agreed that investment in strengthening the disaster preparedness capacity for the VNRC provinces will be focused on scaling up capacity of VNRC staff and volunteers in key elements of disaster management, with a particular emphasis in needs assessment.
During the month of March, a media training was planned with technical support from the IFRC’s Southeast Asia regional office’s communications department with a focus of ‘communications in emergencies’ which focused on enhancing skills and knowledge of 17 participants from both VNRC disaster management and communications departments in the three provinces of An Giang, Long An and Dong Thap.
Contributions have been received from partner national societies including American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross/Australian government, British Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross Society, Norwegian Red Cross, Red Cross of Monaco, Singapore Red Cross Society, Swedish Red Cross/Swedish government, Swiss Red Cross, The Canadian Red Cross Society/Canadian government, and The Netherlands Red Cross. Funding has also been received from the Coca-Cola Foundation and the Voluntary Emergency Relief Fund (VERF/WHO).
On behalf of Viet Nam Red Cross, IFRC would like to thank all partners and donors for their invaluable support of this operation.