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Nepal: Annual Appeal No.01.58/2004 Annual Report

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In Brief

Appeal No. 01.58/2004; Appeal target: CHF 1,684,870 (USD 1,377,468 or EUR 1,089,998); Appeal coverage: 49.4%.

This Annual Report reflects activities implemented over a one-year period; they form part of, and are based on, longer-term, multi-year planning. This annual report also covers the operational period 1 November to 31 December not covered by the last programme update. All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

Operational Context

The ongoing conflict between the Nepal government security forces and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) which has now lasted nine years, claiming more than 10,000 lives, continued to severely disrupt social and economic activity. During 2004 all areas of Nepal were affected by the conflict in some manner with the security and human rights situation deteriorating. The conflict has contributed to population movement with some of the most affected leaving their homes to move to relatives in district towns or migrating to find jobs abroad. There has been no progress in commencing negotiations between the parties despite both sides signalling interest in ending the conflict through talks. In addition to the armed conflict, there have also been regular political protests and disturbances through demonstrations, general strikes (bandhs) and road blockades.

The Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) has worked closely with the ICRC to assist those affected by the conflict and to disseminate international humanitarian law (IHL) and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Principles. There is also recognition of the importance to continue with the long-term development programmes in conflict-affected areas. These strengthen local networks, ensure some basic services and make the Red Cross visible . All programmes are adapting implementation methods to the conflict depending on the local conditions in the project area. The community-based first aid (CBFA) programme is on a pilot basis , integrating more activities targeting conflict-affected women and children. NRCS has been requested to take the lead in a water and sanitation programme financed by the World Bank, in the conflict-affected western part of the country. This is recognition of the Nepal Red Cross experience in this area as well as the ability to work in conflict areas.

Heavy rains which began in July resulted in widespread flooding and landslides, affecting 800,000 people in 25 of Nepal's 75 districts. A total of 185 people died, 68,000 houses were damaged and at the height of the disaster 37,000 families were displaced. The national society responded immediately through its district branches and utilising pre-positioned relief stocks. During the operation, the Nepal Red Cross was the only humanitarian organisation able to reach both government and Maoist-controlled areas. Due to this situation, many other organisations channelled their support through the national society. The positive impact of the community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) and CBFA programmes were clearly seen during the flooding. Communities that had been involved in the programmes reacted faster, used pre-warning systems and response mechanisms that saved lives. An international Federation emergency appeal was launched for CHF 2.77 million on 27 July. Due to bilateral donations and extensive cooperation with other national organisations, the international appeal was subsequently revised down to CHF 2.03 million. The relief phase of the operation was successfully completed by the end of October, at which point the rehabilitation phase started. To view the latest Operations Update on the Nepal flood appeal, please go to http://www.ifrc.org/where/appeals/allappeals.asp

The conflict and the political disturbances are affecting the national society programmes mainly by interrupting in-country travel. Implementation plans have had to become more flexible. Workshops and other meetings occasionally have to be changed or postponed. More responsibility is delegated to branches and less monitoring has been done from the headquarters. However, programmes on the whole have been implemented according to plan. Due to the flood operation, the disaster management (DM) programme will implement some of the planned activities for 2004 in the first months of 2005. The timeframe for the resource development programmes have also been adjusted due to delays in staff recruitment. Budget constraints (see below) have also impacted on some programmes.

The process of coordinating cooperation with partners, the Cooperation Agreement Strategy (CAS) process, continued during the year. A key event was the partnership meeting held in Kathmandu in April when all Red Cross Movement partners discussed and agreed on cooperation principles and priorities that were documented in CAS. The CAS document has provided the basis for continued discussions with partners regarding common programme priorities and working methods. It was also agreed to gradually align partners' reporting and audit requirements.

The lack of funding for the organisational development programme has negatively affected the support given to districts in areas such as volunteer development, management and similar activities. The programme assisting the Bhutanese refugees has not been fully funded resulting in camp populations not receiving some essential non-food items as planned.

For further information specifically related to this Annual Appeal please contact:

- Nepal Red Cross Society, Kathmandu: Badri Khanal, Executive Director, badri@nrcs.org, phone: 977 1 42 70 650; fax: 977 1 42 71 915.

- Federation Office, Kathmandu: Karin Hakansson-Furga, Federation Representative, ifrcnp01@ifrc.org, phone: 977 1 42 85 843; fax: 977 1 42 86 048.

- Asia Pacific Department, Jagan Chapagain, regional officer, jagan.chapagain@ifrc.org , phone: 41 22 730 4252, fax: 41 22 733 0395

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