Definitions and Acronyms

Annex V: Definitions and Acronyms

The opening balance is the total amount of funds on 1 January. It is also the carry-over balance from the previous year.

The closing balance is the balance at the end of one year which is carried over to the next. Closing balances are reflected in end-of-year’ financial statements, but the total amounts can only be determined after the previous year’s accounting is closed on 31 March.

Adjustments refer to accounting adjustments made to income (reflecting changes in contributions or other miscellaneous income) or expenditure incorrectly or incompletely reported in the previous year.

Income comprises amounts that have been credited to OCHA’s trust funds as well as unpaid pledges.

A pledge is a written commitment by a donor to provide a monetary contribution to OCHA’s activities. It is recorded as income at the time of receipt of the written commitment; however, funds associated with the pledge cannot be allocated until the actual cash is received. If the pledge is in a currency other than the United States dollar, its value is converted according to the prevailing United Nations rate of exchange at the time of receipt of the pledge. The United Stated dollar value of the pledge varies with the rate of exchange for as long as the pledge remains unpaid, and foreign exchange gains or losses may arise at the time of receipt of cash.

Transfers, refunds and savings include: transfers between projects; allocations from the FCRF to underfunded field offices; transfers to and from the unearmarked sub-account; transfers between trust funds; refunds to donors; and savings from the prior period’s unused obligations.

Other funds available include interest, foreign exchange gains and losses, and miscellaneous income.

The total funds available are the sum of the year’s opening balance, adjustments, total voluntary donor contributions and other income.

The unearmarked sub-account consists of accumulated interest and miscellaneous income/losses (including foreign exchange gains/losses). It is used to: finance mandatory reserve accounts; provide loans to activities with pledged contributions pending the receipt of cash, at which time the loan is repaid; and cover unforeseen costs such as those incurred in closing a field office.

Expenditure refers to the disbursements and obligations recorded for the year.

Headquarters core activities describe those activities that are undertaken in fulfilling OCHA’s mandate – primarily humanitarian coordination, advocacy and policy development.

Headquarters projects generally address limited-duration needs associated with emergency response or other activities in support of the international humanitarian community (for example, projects that support humanitarian reform).

Field activities refer to coordination activities undertaken by regional and field offices.

Non-staff costs include: consultants’ fees and travel; staff travel and related expenses; costs of outsourcing activities; operating costs such as office furniture, equipment and supplies; and programme support costs.

Programme support costs are used to pay for overheads and are sourced through a levy of 3–13 percent of the expenditures of trust funds administered by OCHA.

Reserves are amounts set aside for contingent liabilities and final costs in the event of closure of a trust fund or special account, as in the case of the Special Account for Programme Support.


ACE Assessment and Classification in Emergencies (Project) (OCHA)
AHI Avian and Human Influenza
AIMB Advocacy and Information Management Branch (OCHA)
AO Administrative Office (OCHA)
APHP Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Partnership
APIS Advocacy and Public Information Section (OCHA)
ARPD Armée Populaire pour la Restauration de la Démocratie (Central African Republic)
BCPR Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (UNDP)
BCRF Budgetary Cash Reserve Fund
CAP Consolidated Appeals Process
CAR Central African Republic
CEPREDENAC Centro de Coordinación para la Prevención de los Desastres (Central America)
CERF Central Emergency Response Fund
CHAP Common Humanitarian Action Plan
CMCS Civil–Military Coordination Section (OCHA)
CMCoord Civil–Military Coordination
CRD Coordination and Response Division (OCHA)
DERS Donor and External Relations Section (OCHA)
DIPECHO European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office – Disaster Preparedness
DMT Disaster Management Team
DPA Department of Political Affairs (United Nations)
DPKO Department of Peacekeeping Operations (United Nations)
DPRK Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
DPSS Displacement and Protection Support Section (OCHA)
DRC Democratic Republic of the Congo
DVPS Disaster and Vulnerability Policy Section (OCHA)
ECHA Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs
ECHO European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office
EES Environmental Emergencies Section (OCHA)
EFCT Emergency Field Coordination Training
EO Executive Office (OCHA)
EPS Emergency Preparedness Section (OCHA)
ERF Emergency Response Fund
ERR Emergency Response Roster
ERSMB External Relations and Support Mobilization Branch
ESB Emergency Services Branch (OCHA)
ESS Evaluation and Studies Section (OCHA)
EU European Union
FAHUM Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarian (Latin America)
FCRF Field Coordination Reserve Fund
FCSS Field Coordination Support Section (OCHA)
FIS Field Information Services (OCHA)
FNL Forces Nationales de Libération (Burundi)
FRANZ France, Australia and New Zealand (Pacific)
FTS Financial Tracking Service
GAP Gender Action Plan
GAT Gender Advisory Team (OCHA)
GCMS Geographical Coordination and Monitoring Section (OCHA)
GDACS Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
GenCap Gender Standby Capacity
GHD Good Humanitarian Donorship
GHP Global Humanitarian Platform
GIS Geographic Information Systems
GMP Guidance Management Project
HAC Humanitarian Aid Commission (Sudan)
HAP Humanitarian Action Plan (DRC)
HC Humanitarian Coordinator
HCSP Humanitarian Coordination Strengthening Project (OCHA)
HDPT Humanitarian and Development Partnership Team (Central African Republic)
HIC Humanitarian Information Centre
HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HRF Humanitarian Response Fund
HRSU Humanitarian Reform Support Unit (OCHA)
IAHCC Inter-Agency Humanitarian Coordination Committee (Côte d’Ivoire)
IAS Information Analysis Section
IASC Inter-Agency Standing Committee
IAWG Inter-Agency Working Group
ICT Information and Communications Technology
IDP Internally Displaced Person
IFRC International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
IGSS Intergovernmental Support Section (OCHA)
IHP International Humanitarian Partnership
INSARAG International Search and Rescue Advisory Group
IOM International Organization for Migration
IRIN Integrated Regional Information Networks
ISDR International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
IT Information Technology
ITS Information Technology Section (OCHA)
ITU International Telecommunications Union
Lao PDR Lao People’s Democratic Republic
LSU Logistics Support Unit (OCHA)
MCDA Military and Civil Defence Assets
MOSS Minimum Operating Security Standards
MORSS Minimum operating residential security standards
NAF Needs Analysis Framework
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NDC National Disaster Centre (Papua New Guinea)
NGO Non-Government Organization
OCT OCHA Contributions Tracking (System)
ODSG OCHA Donor Support Group
OIC Organization of Islamic Conference
oPt occupied Palestinian territory
OSCE Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
OSOCC On-Site Operations Coordination Centre
PDSB Policy Development and Studies Branch (OCHA)
PEMTAG Pacific Emergency Management Training Advisory Group
PIC Pandemic Influenza Contingency (OCHA)
PNG Papua New Guinea
POCS Protection of Civilians Section (OCHA)
PPAS Policy Planning and Analysis Section (OCHA)
ProCap Protection Standby Capacity
RC Resident Coordinator
RC/HC Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator
RDRA Regional Disaster Response Adviser
RedHum Red Humanitaria
REDLAC Regional Risk, Emergency and Disaster Task Force (Latin America)
RHPT Regional Humanitarian Partnership Team
ROAP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (OCHA)
ROCEA Regional Office for Central and East Africa (OCHA)
ROLAC Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (OCHA)
ROMENACA Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (OCHA)
ROSA Regional Office for Southern Africa (OCHA)
ROWA Regional Office for West Africa (OCHA)
SCS Surge Capacity Section (OCHA)
SDLS Staff Development and Learning Section (OCHA)
SPLM Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement
UAE United Arab Emirates
UNAMA United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
UNAMID African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur
UN-CMCoord United Nations Civil–Military Coordination
UNDAC United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination
UNDGO United Nations Development Group Office
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNETT United Nations Emergency Technical Team
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women
UNJLC United Nations Joint Logistics Centre
UNMAS United Nations Mine Action Service
UNMIS United Nations Mission in the Sudan
UNMIT United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNOPS United Nations Office for Project Services
UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
VOSOCC Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Centre
WEF World Economic Forum
WFP World Food Programme
WHO World Health Organization