OCHA and the UN System
"Each day I wake up in the hope of bringing about change. A change in the life of someone in need." The psychosocial camp counsellor for Atma IDP camp, herself displaced since 2012, visits displaced families every day to talk about their stresses and offer support to children who have lost their parents. ©OCHA
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) of the UN Secretariat is responsible for coordinating responses to emergencies. It does this through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, whose members include the UN system entities most responsible for providing emergency relief. A coordinated, system-wide approach to humanitarian relief is essential in providing assistance quickly and efficiently to those in need.
OCHA’s mandate stems from General Assembly resolution 46/182 of December 1991, which states: "The leadership role of the Secretary-General is critical and must be strengthened to ensure better preparation for, as well as rapid and coherent response to, natural disasters and other emergencies. This should be achieved through coordinated support for prevention and preparedness measures and the optimal utilization of, inter alia, an inter-agency standing committee, consolidated appeals, a central emergency revolving fund and a register of stand-by capacities."
OCHA and CERF
2020: A year of unprecedented need around the world. CERF met the challenge - allocating a record $900 million, it delivered life-saving assistance in 52 countries with unparalleled speed. CERF provided a record $225 million to 20 underfunded and neglected crises. First ever global pandemic allocation. First ever allocation to NGOs, CERF helped humanitarian partners reach those in greatest need. ©CERF
The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), managed by OCHA, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to support rapid humanitarian response for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflict. CERF receives voluntary contributions year-round to provide immediate funding for life-saving humanitarian action anywhere in the world.
UN entities with a primary responsibility for delivering humanitarian aid
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have primary roles in the delivery of relief assistance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) coordinates the response to humanitarian health emergencies.