UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
“OCHA's mission is to mobilise and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to:
• alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies
• advocate for the rights of people in need
• promote preparedness and prevention
• facilitate sustainable solutions.
In December 1991, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 46/182 […], designed to strengthen the United Nation's response to both complex emergencies and natural disasters. In addition it aimed at improving the overall effectiveness of the UN's humanitarian operations in the field.” (OCHA Website, http://ochaonline.un.org/AboutOCHA/tabid/1076/Default.aspx, accessed on 29 October 2008)
International community, donors, general public
“OCHA, a department of the UN Secretariat, operates through a network of field offices which support UN Humanitarian Coordinators and country teams. It also maintains regional support offices and Regional Disaster Response Advisors in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. […] OCHA facilitates the work of operational agencies that deliver humanitarian assistance to populations and communities in need. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) has overall responsibility for ensuring coherence of relief efforts in the field. OCHA supports the HC in needs assessments, contingency planning and the formulation of humanitarian programmes. OCHA also provides response tools, and advocacy and information services. The head of OCHA, as Emergency Relief Coordinator, chairs the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), which comprises all major humanitarian actors, including the Red Cross Movement and three non-governmental organization (NGO) consortia. By developing common policies, guidelines and standards, the IASC assures a coherent interagency response to complex emergencies and natural and environmental disasters. OCHA also chairs the Executive Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (ECHA), which develops common UN positions on humanitarian issues. […] OCHA works with key stakeholders to develop policies and advocacy strategies designed to ensure the protection of civilians in armed conflict and respect for international humanitarian law. It also seeks to draw attention to “neglected crises” that are not in the media spotlight. Finally, OCHA works with operational agencies to aid an estimated 24 million internally displaced people in the world. […] An important part of OCHA’s work is to gather, analyse and disseminate information from the field to key stakeholders. OCHA monitors and issues situation reports on natural disasters on a 24-hour basis.” (OCHA Website, http://ochaonline.un.org/AboutOCHA/tabid/1076/language/en-US/Default.aspx, accessed on 29 October 2008)
“Although a part of the UN Secretariat, OCHA receives only a small percentage of its funding from the regular budget of the United Nations. In 2008, this amounts to 6 percent of its overall budget. OCHA's funding is largely from contributions by the Member States, either directly for Headquarters functions or through the Consolidated Appeals for country offices and activities.” (OCHA Website, http://ochaonline.un.org/FundingFinance/tabid/1082/Default.aspx, accessed on 29 October 2008)
The OCHA has a variety of funds and fundraising processes, among them an Emergency Response Fund, which is sometimes called a Humanitarian Response Fund, a Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), Flash Appeals and a Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). It is furthermore financed via private donations and business contributions/Public Private Partnerships. (cp. OCHA Website, http://ochaonline.un.org/FundingFinance/tabid/1082/Default.aspx, accessed on 29 October 2008)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: regional offices for Asia Pacific, Central & East Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, Southern Africa, West Africa; field offices in Burundi, Chad, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, DR of Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, oPT, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Zimbabwe
Thematic focus: humanitarian affairs in the scope of natural disasters, war and civil conflict, internal displacement and others (protection of civilians in armed conflict, impact of sanctions, protection and displacements, promotion of the humanitarian agenda, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, human security, gender equality)
“The tools used to collect and share information include:
- www.ReliefWeb.int – provides comprehensive information on emergencies on natural disasters to the global humanitarian community on a 24-hour basis.
- www.IRINnews.org – offers accurate and impartial reporting of humanitarian crises in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia.
- www.humanitarianinfo.org – the gateway to humanitarian information centres and other field-based sources which provide accurate information and data to relief workers and decision-makers.
- www.ochaonline.un.org – a corporate platform for advocacy, information sharing, a repository of humanitarian and OCHA-related information and a donor solicitation platform.” (OCHA Website, http://ochaonline.un.org/AboutOCHA/tabid/1076/Default.aspx, accessed on 29 October 2008)
Humanitarian highlights, (humanitarian) situation reports and protection of civilians reports are published by the respective regional and field offices.
Situation reports and humanitarian updates for global regions are published monthly by the respective regional office. (Humanitarian) situation reports, updates and bulletins for specific countries are published weekly (Burundi, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan), biweekly (Kenya, Nepal), monthly (Guinea, Indonesia, oPT) or sporadic (Chad, Haiti, Iraq).
English, French, Arabic (only for RO Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia)
Navigation of website:
To access regional and country specific situation reports and humanitarian updates choose “Geographic” in top menu; regional or country sub-sites can then be selected via the menu on the left-hand side; on respective country or regional site, choose “situation reports”, “Reports”, “Rapports de Situation” or “Report Center” in the menu on the left-hand side; select respective reports.
Wikipedia: Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs