Source description last updated:  10 April 2019

In brief: ReliefWeb is a specialised online database of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs providing humanitarian updates.

Coverage on
Selected publications from a variety of sources for countries of priorities A-C. Articles from Thomson Reuters for countries of priorities A and B2. Please note: ReliefWeb itself generally does not author reports, i.e. it is not the source of the information. ReliefWeb (re-)publishes information produced by others.
Covered daily on

OCHA, which runs ReliefWeb, is covered as a separate source on

ReliefWeb is a specialised online database of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It provides “reliable and timely information” on situations of disaster and crisis to support humanitarians with their work. (ReliefWeb Website: About Us, undated)

ReliefWeb aims to provide “new and better digital products and services”. In ReliefWeb Labs, ReliefWeb continues “to experiment with improved ways to share information for today’s humanitarians”. (ReliefWeb Website, About Us, undated)

“ReliefWeb has been funded entirely by donor funding since it was started in 1996 [...]”. In 2006, funding was about $2.5 million. When ReliefWeb was started, the US was the primary funder, but by 2006 other major donors, such as Japan, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom, also made considerable contributions. (Forum One Communications: Evaluation of ReliefWeb, 2006, p. 66/67)

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: All countries.
Thematic focus: Agriculture, security, protection/human rights/rule of law, shelter and non-food items, water and sanitation, coordination and support services, education, food, health, infrastructure and rehabilitation, mine action, refugees and IDPs.

“ReliefWeb’s editorial team monitors and collects information from over 4,000 sources, including humanitarian agencies at the international and local levels, governments, think tanks and research institutions, and the media. ReliefWeb editors identify and select the content that is most relevant to global humanitarian workers.”

The content “is delivered through various channels - the website, social media networks and API - so that humanitarian workers can access key content anywhere anytime.” (ReliefWeb Website, About Us, undated) uses ReliefWeb as a source because of its collection and pre-selection of information. The author/source and methodology of each individual document vary.

Languages of publications:
Mostly English, some documents are available in French, Spanish, Arabic or Russian.

Further reading / links:
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [A/RES/51/194], 10 February 1997

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [A/RES/57/153], 3 March 2003

ReliefWeb: Vision & Strategy, September 2012

ReliefWeb Online Survey Results Analysis, 18 May 2010

ReliefWeb: Labs

OCHA source description on

All links accessed 10 April 2019.