OCHA’s mission is to mobilise and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors to alleviate human suffering in emergencies, advocate for the rights of people in need, promote preparedness and prevention and facilitate sustainable solutions. The USG also chairs the Inter-Agency Standing Committee as the Emergency Relief Coordinator. OCHA:
- Works with Governments to strengthen their capacity with early warning information, contingency planning, national capacity-building and training, and by mobilizing support from regional networks;
- Helps Governments access tools and services for life-saving relief (rapid-response teams, needs assessment, funds, reports and civil-military coordination);
- Identifies and analyses trends and helps the humanitarian community develop common policy, based on humanitarian principles;
- Speaks out publicly when necessary, works behind the scenes, negotiating on issues such as access, protection of civilians and aid workers, and humanitarian principles;
- Gathers and shares reliable data on where crisis-affected people are, what they urgently need and who is best placed to assist them;
- Helps manage humanitarian donations from more than 130 countries through its financial tracking services.
Disaster Reduction Goal
OCHA’s key objectives are to:
- Convene humanitarian and development partners to work strategically and coherently to strengthen resilience and build national and local capacity
- Advocate a resilience-based approach and ensure resilience concepts are integrated into the humanitarian programme cycle, and humanitarian tools and mechanisms are used to optimum effect
OCHA works to incorporate DRR approaches into humanitarian programmes and strengthen preparedness for effective humanitarian response. Emergency preparedness and DRR are critical to building community and household resilience.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
In 2013, OCHA and UNDP are leading a pilot project to strengthen disaster resilience at the country level with the support of the Political Champions Group for Disaster Resilience. Initial pilot countries include Chad, Haiti, Nepal and Niger.
National Disaster Management Offices/Ministries
Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)
Targeted support on emergency preparedness, including response capacity assessment, simulation exercise, contingency planning, was provided to governments, regional organizations and inter-agency teams in Africa (Rwanda. Ghana. Nigeria/ECOWAS, Cameroon, Madagascar, Gabon/ECCAS, Comoros and South Africa) and the Middle East (Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan). In conducting these advisory missions, OCHA joined forces with partners, such as CADRI and UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, humanitarian agencies through the IASC Sub Working Group on Preparedness, IFRC, bilateral/multilateral donors, and UNISDR.
Moreover, OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch and Programme Support Branch supported its Regional and Country Offices in coordinating, providing technical advice and ensuring consistent emergency preparedness work across geographical regions. These included international response tools (UNDAC, INSARAG), civil-military coordination, cluster approach, needs assessment, HC/RC coordination support, information management and humanitarian financing systems (CERF, CAP, Flash Appeals).
In September 2011, an OCHA Minimum Preparedness Package was endorsed by all OCHA Regional Offices and a number of Country Offices. It focuses OCHA’s preparedness support, covering country response capability, regional reinforcement and OCHA’s own readiness to respond. The ‘end states’ consist of a set of minimum preparedness actions, which represent the day-to-day support extended by OCHA, particularly its Regional Offices, to RCs/HCs and HCTs Teams in facilitating response preparedness.
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
Turid Laegreid, Senior Humanitarian Advisor on Resilience, Coordination and Response Division, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rudi Muller, Deputy Director, OCHA-Geneva and Chief, Emergency Services Branch, email@example.com
Andrew Wyllie, Officer-in-Charge, Programme Support Branch, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pierre Bessuges, Chief, Emergency Preparedness Section, Programme Support Branch, email@example.com
Palais de Nations
8-1 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 22 917 12 34
Fax: +41 22 917 00 23/03 68
24 hour emergency number: +41 (0) 22 917 2010