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Europe Zone Annual Report - Appeal No. MAA650011 2010

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Programme outcome: The Europe Zone office is guided in its work by the strategic aims of Strategy 2020 to save lives, protect livelihoods, and strengthen recovery from disasters and crises; enable healthy and safe living; and promote social inclusion and culture of non-violence and peace. The capacity-building efforts are in line with Enabling Action One and guided by the Comprehensive Framework of Building Strong National Societies.

Programme(s) summary: For Strategy 2020 to become an effective roadmap for future Red Cross Red Crescent work in Europe it needs to be translated into practical action at the country level – and below. For the International Federation and its Zone Office in Budapest, that required a renewed understanding of what forms of support National Societies wish to receive, and through which channels. As a consequence, throughout 2010 Europe zone developed a focused plan of action to the S2020 roll-out. This consisted of the following points:

· Three dialogue fora with leadership around S2020 implementation, CA, Vienna and Jesolo.

· Two trainings for S2020 facilitators in Budapest and Jesolo, and deployment of these to assist National Societies in the process to update and review their strategic development plans embracing S2020 ambitions.

· A review process at the two regional representations located in Moscow and Almaty, to assess whether any changes in the institutional set-up of Europe Zone Office and its field offices would be required, based on a peer-review approach through a team of senior National Society leaders from several European National Societies. The outcome of the reviews was, very briefly, that National Societies welcome an international presence integrated in their own structures, provided the International Federation preserves its international character. National Societies strongly feel that they have to, or are able to develop, the expertise and capacity to run programmes and services, at the same time they welcome additional support in humanitarian diplomacy, in fostering regional co-operation, adjusting their strategic plans in light of S2020. To some extent the National Societies also expressed a wish to have a somewhat closer contact with Budapest.

In light of these outcomes it was decided to revise the Terms of Reference for the two regional representations (Moscow and Almaty) and make organisational changes in accordance with the outcomes of the new mandates.

On 13 April 2010, 42 National Societies met in Vienna, Austria, in the frame of the 8th European Regional Conference (13-16 April 2010) to discuss two main themes of the Conference - Ageing Population in Europe, and Multicultural Interaction. The aim of the Conference was to help setting up a benchmark for the humanitarian challenges that exist in Europe and Central Asia and come up with a four year plan to address these challenges. As an outcome of the conference the National Societies committed themselves to encourage active ageing and promote intercultural dialogue.

The recovery from the global financial crisis continued in 2010, but the economic situation of the countries in the region is still fragile. Among developing regions, the Europe and Central Asia region has been the most negatively affected by the global financial crisis, albeit with large variations across the region in the degree of impact.

In 2010, 29 emergency operations were implemented due to natural disasters (floods in Tajikistan, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, etc. ) as well as other emergency situations (Polio outbreaks in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, etc.). Quick and effective response was organised from the zone with four deployments of Regional Disaster Response Team members. The disaster management training continued with field-level simulations involving other movement and non-movement partners with the RDRT. International Disaster Response Law (IDRL) was the topic of the regional workshop, “Legal preparedness and legislative advocacy for international disaster response” that took place in May in Vienna, gathering representatives from European Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies engaged in disaster management activities. The work on risk reduction and climate change activities continued in the selected National Societies.

National Societies in Europe and Central Asia reaffirmed their commitments to health and social care, particularly with regard to the scaling-up programmes on HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis under the umbrella of the Global Alliance. A number of societies were active in providing direct assistance to Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis patients (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia…) while trainings on Harm Reduction and HIV/TB advocacy were organised in cooperation with partners outside the movement. During the 8th European Regional Conference in April 2010 one of the issues discussed was Ageing Population in Europe. National Societies defined commitments to their programmes aiming for self-empowerment of older people and encouraging active ageing, strengthening their resilience and allowing them to remain autonomous. The globally supported human pandemic preparedness and response accelerated projects (AP) and mini-projects were completed in ten countries in Europe.

In organisational development, new approaches to training and development are being introduced, such as the Federation learning platform and the volunteer management training e-learning course organised by the Reference Centre for Volunteering. Aspects of volunteering have been studied in the context of emergency operations in Europe Zone. Peer support is one of the key tools for supporting National Societies in their organizational development and capacity building efforts, as exemplified in cooperation between the Latvian, Lithuanian and Belarus Red Cross Societies in proposing a “Volunteer Recruitment and Volunteer Management with Special Focus on Supporting Visiting Nurses” project to the EU with Lithuanian Red Cross being the main applicant. Following up the full roll-out of Strategy 2020, in Europe zone 25 S2020 facilitators were trained to assist and accompany National Societies’ strategic planning processes by providing advice, facilitation and support in interpretation and application of Strategy 2020. The implementation of the project “From Working Advance to Cash Transfer”, for 11 National Societies, partly funded by the Geneva OD Department, has started with focus on encouraging National Societies to assume responsibilities previously resting with the Federation. Considerable progress has been made by several National Societies in improving their accounting systems, introducing regular external audits, and developing their own fundraising efforts, as external funding is becoming less predictable. The Europe Zone team have developed a strategic approach towards the private sector, exploring in particular how technical expertise in areas such as finance and management can be mobilised through promotion of corporate social responsibility. A new system has been introduced to National Societies that aims to reliably monitor and report on key data on an annual basis to improve the performance and accountability of the Federation as a leading global actor in the humanitarian field. The Federation-wide Reporting System was piloted and tested through the zone with the active participation of 30 National Societies, who also provided their feedback in order to further improve before the full roll-out.

During the first part of the year the coordinators for migration and anti-trafficking focused on providing technical support, developing proposals for resource mobilisation, promoting networking, and strengthening relationships with governments and external actors. Selected national societies were provided with strategic guidance, technical assistance and targeted support for strengthening their role in the migration field. The Zone office hosted the annual meeting of the Platform for European Red Cross Cooperation on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants (PERCO). At the meeting the Strategy 2020 of the International Federation was presented and some priorities on migration to be addressed within Europe in the coming 3 years were discussed. The Zone office facilitated a study visit scheme whereby National Societies from the new EU member states and EU candidate countries in Central Europe could visit other sister National Societies in EU with more extensive experience in the migration field. The anti-trafficking coordinator continued to promote awareness, and a number of National Societies initiated new activities in this field or are actively exploring opportunities to do so. More than twenty European Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are now active in prevention and assistance measures related to trafficking in human beings, consisting of, primarily, awareness-raising through peer-to-peer education; protection, and the social re-integration of victims.

Unfortunately both coordinator positions had to be discontinued as the required funding could not be secured. As a result, all related activities were scaled down significantly during the second half of the year.

Financial situation: The original appeal budget for 2010 was revised from CHF 1,702,687 to CHF 2,344,719 of which CHF 2,021,315 (86 per cent) was covered during the reporting period (including opening balance). Overall expenditure during the reporting period was CHF 1,466,842 (72 per cent) of the budget. The Budget revision reflects a new partnership with non-traditional donors e.g Velux Foundation, however, some essential activities were still underfunded as mentioned in the report under Migration and Anti-trafficking. The implementation rate however is lower due the Personnel funding which goes across the calendar year. Click here to go directly to the financial report.

No. of people we have reached: The zone programmes principally support the 52 National Societies of Europe, who, in turn, work with millions of people.

Our partners: The Europe Zone office works in close partnership with the National Societies of the region at all levels, with the existing technical networks, and relevant government ministries, such as health and disaster management bodies. Much emphasis was given to working together more effectively through global and operational alliances. The Zone team also worked closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on issues of Movement cooperation, National Society capacity building and programme development. Within the Movement, there has been strong and loyal support from multilateral partners, which include the American Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross, British Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Hungarian Government, Italian Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross/Norwegian Government, Netherlands Red Cross, Icelandic Red Cross, Swedish Red Cross/Swedish Government, the Capacity Building Fund (CBF), and the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Outside of the Movement, the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the UN OCHA (through the Inter- Agency Standing Committee), Eli Lilly Company, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC), Advocacy Partnership (AP), American USAID, the World Health Organization (WHO) and several UN agencies are important partners.