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Caribbean Region Appeal No. 01.49/2003 Programme Update No. 1

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Publication date

Appeal Target: CHF 2,547,557
Period covered: 1 January - 15 May 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:

In Brief

Appeal coverage: 53.6%; See attached Contributions List for details or see the Federation's website.

Outstanding needs: CHF 1,182,067

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals:

Programme Summary: In early 2003, the new structure for the region with a consolidated regional delegation in Panama and sub regional offices in Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic came into effect. Although these major changes affected the capacity of the delegation and sub regional offices, programme implementation continued. During the reporting period, major advances have been made as regards revitalization of the Caribbean Red Cross HIV/AIDS Network (CARAN) and redefinition of its role in the region. The DIPECHO projects in four countries progressed smoothly, with positive and sustainable results, also creating increased capacity in the National Societies, particularly with regard to reporting and financial management. Several National Societies initiated the vulnerability and capacity assessment (VCA) process and six National Societies have been identified to commence national intervention team (NIT) training. Work continued with regard to the cooperation agreement strategy (CAS) process and the Federation supported the organization of an extraordinary general assembly of the Dominican Red Cross in late March. The Federation's Trinidad and Tobago office achieved a status agreement with the government during the reporting period, facilitating the work of the Federation, and links with international and regional organizations continue to be strengthened.

Operational developments

The consolidation of two regional delegations was undertaken with success despite delays caused by the rehabilitation and remodelling of the Panama regional delegation premises in order to transform two single family dwellings into practical office space. Some time was needed for the establishment of the new delegation, hiring of local staff and the process of induction and training. The result will be a stronger, more developed regional delegation, but in the early months of 2003, the output and effectiveness of the delegation was inevitably affected.

The sub-regional offices in the Caribbean continued their routines. Certain reductions in staff in the Dominican Republic took place and there were some interruptions in the follow up of some of the projects in the Caribbean as a result of the major changes taking place, including the departure of the regional health delegate.

In March 2003, an evaluation took place of the progress of National Societies in the Americas with regard to the Inter American Regional Committee (CORI) plan of action. Conclusions were that "since the last Inter American Conference in 1999, the majority of the National Societies in Latin America and the Caribbean have advanced in most of the areas included in the plan of action. Progress is particularly noteworthy in areas such as disaster response, HIV/AIDS related initiatives and governance and management. In other areas, the progress made is less tangible, as in financial resource development and the development of long-term nation-wide programmes in areas such as HIV/AIDS and community based disaster preparedness".

In April 2003, 35 National Societies of the Americas entered into the "Santiago de Chile Commitment", during the XVII Inter-American Conference which detailed objectives in health, disasters and National Society capacity building to be included in a new plan of action following the Conference. The Conference recognized that health indicators in Latin America have generally improved; however, increasing disparities exist between the countries of the region and between different population groups within each country. In the area of disasters, the last decade saw large-scale natural disasters, often related to climatic change, greatly impacting development in the poorest countries in the Americas. These events are compounded by daily, "invisible", man-made disasters, in particular armed violence, which cumulatively results in losses far greater than those arising from the more visible causes. The challenges to raise National Society capacity in the areas of community volunteer networks, more representative volunteer groups, youth programming, communication, links with those living with HIV/AIDS and resource mobilization were identified as priority areas.

Support to the regional delegation was increased during the period (both financial, technical and in kind) with significant support from the Norwegian Red Cross, the Swedish Red Cross, the British Red Cross and DFID.

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