Objective 1.1


  • OCHA held engagements with NATO HQ staff and NATO member states, during which interlocutors demonstrated a good understanding of the importance of independent humanitarian action. NATO has respected the independence of humanitarian action during the Syria crisis.
  • A growing interest to engage in humanitarian policy discussion and GA resolution negotiations was noticeable during the 2012 ECOSOC in New York. Up to 50 Member States participated in informal negotiations, representing a significant increase from previous years. 
  • The first partnership mission between OCHA and OIC developed the mutual understanding on desired common-response outcomes. 

Year In Review

2012 saw significant progress towards creating a more inclusive and interoperable international humanitarian system. OCHA continued to broaden and strengthen partnerships and deepen dialogue outside the IASC and beyond traditional donors. It also undertook a strategic shift to drive a coherent corporate vision vis-à-vis the organization’s approach to partners worldwide.

With a special focus on achieving greater scale and impact in humanitarian action, OCHA ensured emerging humanitarian partners were prepared to deploy and support effective and well-coordinated humanitarian action. A key achievement was the launch of the ArabHum online portal—the first platform to provide crucial information for humanitarian actors in Arabic. It was launched at the Humanitarian Information Sharing and Partnership Conference in Kuwait in September.

To broaden dialogue with partners and agree on shared commitments to humanitarian policies and priorities, OCHA supported the African Union and its Regional Economic Commissions in developing operational capacities and policy frameworks for concerted humanitarian response. These efforts included consulting on the draft of the African Union Disaster Management Policy and Humanitarian Policy Framework, as well as intense dialogue and policy advice on the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy.

OCHA organized the first OCHA-OIC partnership mission to the Sahel, which yielded concrete results in terms of supporting humanitarian action in the region from many partners. The mission was a useful tool to advance and deepen partner awareness and engagement in multilateral response in the Sahel region and beyond.

OCHA extended the operational and financial bases for humanitarian action, welcoming several new members to the UNDAC system and donors to country-based pooled funds. Estonia, Germany, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania and the African Union made their first contributions to humanitarian country-based pooled funds in 2012, while Brazil and Hungary joined the ranks of UNDAC member countries. OCHA significantly exceeded the targeted number of Urban Search and Rescue teams classified:35 were classified by the end of 2012 versus the 30 teams targeted.

To harness the variety of ongoing initiatives with a many partners, OCHA developed a corporate vision throughout 2012 for consistent and coherent relationship-building with Member States, regional organizations, donors, the private sector and humanitarian actors. The strategy was put into action in July 2012 through the establishment of a dedicated Partnership and Resource Mobilization Branch that coordinates the organization’s outreach efforts . The Senior Management Team approved a proposal that sets out steps to rationalize and prioritize OCHA’s outreach efforts and ensure greater coherence across OCHA in support of building sustainable and results-oriented relationships with key actors.

Progress against Performance Framework
RESULT 1 Broader range of Member States providing financial, operational and political support for multilateral humanitarian action.
1. Number and range of Member States funding coordinated humanitarian action (through CAPs, CERF and country-based pooled funds (ERFs and CHFs)).

Twelve new/returning CERF donors, 14 CHF donors and 25 ERF donors. Sixty Member States donate through CAP/flash appeals.


Five new/returning CERF donors, 15 CHF donors and 26 ERF donors. Seventy Member States donate through CAP/flash appeals.


*ERF target was revised at midyear: 15 CHF donors and 15 ERF donors. At least three new donors to Country-based pooled funds (CBPF). 



In 2012, CERF recorded 10 returning donors (who provided either pledges and/or contributions) and two new donors (Niger and Uruguay). Returning donors’ 2012 pledges and/or contributions totalled US$130,000 or 3 per cent of CERF’s total contributions in 2012 ($425 million). The countries included Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Iceland, Lithuania, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Tajikistan and Thailand.


Country-based pooled funds

In 2012, 14 donors contributed to the CHFs (one less than the target), but the overall level of CHF contributions increased in comparison with 2011 (from $370 million to $386 million), mainly due to higher payments from the UK, Ireland and Australia. There were 19 ERF donors in 2012 (seven less than the initial target), but again the overall level of contributions increased in comparison with the previous year (from $73 million to $86 million). This is due to grants from Germany and Denmark. At the end of 2011, an online-donation platform, managed in partnership with the UN Foundation, was set up to collect individual donations for ERFs from the private sector, thus helping to broaden the donor base of these funds. In 2012, $4,200 was collected for the Horn of Africa crisis for the Kenya and Ethiopia ERFs.


There were eight new donors to the coutnry-based pooled funds in 2012, mainly contributing to the Syria ERF. These donors were Estonia, Germany, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg (new ERF donor), Poland, Romania and the African Union.


CAP/Flash Appeals

In 2012, 59 Member States contributed to CAPs or flash appeals, according to reports from donors and/or recipient organizations. This is below target. However, 2012 did not have a “headline” crisis of the type that usually generates donations from the broadest possible array of Member States. Noting that 108 Member States contributed to CAPS or flash appeals between 2010 and 2012, a multi-year indicator would be more valid going forward.


Five new/returning CERF donors, 16 CHF donors and 27 ERF donors. Eighty Member States giving through CAP/flash appeals.

2. Increased Member State engagement in operational multilateral humanitarian response and preparedness systems.

Thirty-four Member States in UNDAC system, 26 International External Classified USAR teams; differing levels of partnership providing logistical support services to UN agencies and UNDAC teams, especially in sudden-onset disasters. 


a) Thirty-six Member States in UNDAC system.


b) Thirty International External Classified USAR teams.


c) Developing formal arrangements with the Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Partnership and the Americas Support Team for logistical support.


a) By the end of 2012, UNDAC had 35 member countries, with Hungary in progress to become a self-financing member.


b) Thirty-four International External Classified USAR teams. In 2012, five USAR teams from Oman, Finland, Austria, Hungary and Turkey were classified, and five USAR teams from USA, Germany (two teams), Australia and Hungary were re-classified. Bangladesh and Belarus contributed to INSARAG for the first time by hosting events, while two major INSARAG exercises were held in Mexico and Indonesia.


c) Discussions are ongoing, but formal arrangments with APHP and AST have not yet been realised. There appears to be broad support for these arrangements, but the process of collective agreement is lengthy given the number of countries involved and the individual consultations that must take place for these agreements to be signed. An important note (and one that was not indicated previously) was the agreement signed between MapAction and OCHA. This agreement sees MapAction staff deployed with UNDAC teams during emergencies to provide mapping support.


a) Thirty-eight Member States in the UNDAC system.


b) Thirty-six International External Classified USAR teams (increase from previous target of 33).


c) Development of new logistical-support partnerships based on a strategy and implementation of existing agreements. FCSS will strive to strengthen existing partnerships with regional bodies and work towards greater uniformity of approach between global partnership networks.

3. Broader range of Member States support multilateral humanitarian policy priorities and principles.

OCHA aims to increase systematic support on humanitarian policies and principles from a wider range of Member States. It will do this through the Dialogue on Humanitarian Partnership, OCHA engagement in the intergovernmental humanitarian negotiations process, the annual Humanitarian Partnership Mission and regional partnership meetings. For example, in 2011 the US, EU, CANZ and G77 supported referencing the cluster approach as an important coordination tool in the ECOSOC resolution.


Member States support the humanitarian system’s policy priorities, as identified by the IASC, ECOSOC members and Member States in the UN intergovernmental body discussions and decisions.


a) Member States support the humanitarian system’s policy priorities, as identified by the IASC, ECOSOC members and Member States in the UN intergovernmental body discussions and decisions. 


b) A humanitarian panel at ECOSOC reinforced the importance of broadening partnerships for effective humanitarian assistance and bringing together a range of partners and Member States.


c) A growing interest to engage in humanitarian policy discussion and GA resolution negotations was noticeable during the 2012 ECOSOC in NY through the participation of up to 50 Member States in informal negotiations. They represented a significant increase from previous years (Algeria, Argentian, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Kenya, Colombia, Costa Rica, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia).


d) At the individual Member State level, preparedness, response and DRR-capacity mapping was undertaken in China, Japan, Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and India.


e) Action plans were initiated with ECCAS, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and China, while implementation continued on action plans with ASEAN, OIC, the African Union and ECOWAS. These plans help develop strong operational relationships and provide tangible support in achieving the aspirations of new and emerging humanitarian actors. 


f) OCHA held policy consultations in several regions, including South Africa, the Middle East and Asia, bringing together regional organizations, key humanitarian partners and NGOs.


Additional partner Member States support the humanitarian system’s policy priorities, as evidenced in UN intergovernmental body discussions and decisions, and by Member States’ uptake of SG-report decisions.

RESULT 2 Increased breadth and depth of regional organizations’ engagement in coordinated multilateral humanitarian action.
1. Agreements with regional organizations contributing to improved operational cooperation in humanitarian preparedness and response.

OCHA supports regional organizations’ awareness and use of multilateral humanitarian coordination tools through capacity-building (e.g. on CERF, UNDAC and civil-military relations), joint contingency planning and joint assessment missions. OCHA has formalized cooperation through agreements with EU (ECHO agreement) and AU.


a) ASEAN: Finalization of the Strategic Plan on Disaster Management and agreement on SOPs between OCHA and ASEAN for preparedness and response.


b) AU: Implementation of the plan of action, which includes elements on coordination, early warning and preparedness, and the protection of civilians. Support the development of a humanitarian policy framework. 


c) EU: The disaster response legislation and the revision of the 1996 regulation on humanitarian aid reflect humanitarian principles and OCHA’s role.


d) OIC: Implementation of the plan of action.


a) ASEAN: Strategic Plan was agreed and endorsed in March 2012. The agreement on SOPs was postponed to March 2013.


b) AU: OCHA consulted on the draft of the AU Disaster Management Policy and Humanitarian Policy Framework, which will be completed in 2013. Support was provided through  workshops and experts during the drafting process.


c) OIC: Implementation of the plan of action is under way. The first OIC/OCHA-led partnership mission (to the Sahel) was held, which led to increased support for humanitarian action from OIC members. Similar partnership missions will now be held twice a year. 


d) EU: BLO liaised with the EU Commission and the Presidency of the EU to ensure OCHA's role is adequately reflected and recognized in the upcoming disaster response legislation.

Additional achievements:
a) LAS: OCHA worked with DPA and concerned agencies in NY to strengthen the engagement with LAS on humanitarian action. This is in reaction to the LAS SG’s request to the UN SG to establish a mechanism to deepen the cooperation between LAS and the UN.
b) Latin and South America: In 2012, the (Fifth) Regional Meeting on Humanitarian Partnership in Latin American and the Caribbean (MIAH) included, for the first time, a Ministerial segment. This reflects that countries in the region have increased their commitment to regional coordination to improve response. The meeting also resulted in a draft Plan of Action that will be used to strengthen regional coordination.
c) Civil Military: The development of regional civil-military coordination capacity was advanced through OCHA’s continued support to the HOPEFOR Initiative. Led by the State of Qatar, the Republic of Turkey and the Dominican Republic, this initiative will lead to the establishment of regional civil-military expertise through the creation of civil-military centres.
d) OCHA provided four tailored UN-CMCoord training courses in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, including specific training to regional organizations such as NATO. OCHA also participated in the development and execution of three large-scale military-simulation exercises. 
e) Testing of the “Asia-Pacific Regional Guidelines for the Use of Foreign Military Assets in Natural Disaster Response Operations” concluded with regional partners validating their implementation.  

ASEAN, AU, EU and OIC regional capacity for disaster response is in synergy with international response tools and services.

2. Regional organizations’ engagement in humanitarian action is informed by multilateral humanitarian norms, policies and principles.

Regional organizations’ decisions on humanitarian issues/crises increasingly reflect humanitarian norms, policies and principles (e.g. EU Council, NATO Council and LAS decisions on Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan).


Regional organizations’ decisions during crisis response take into account humanitarian priorities and principles.


a) BLO has enhanced communication with the EU on achievements and operational difficulties in humanitarian response through regular technical meetings with ECHO and partners on the Syria crisis. EU communications, such as statements from High Representative Ashton and EU Council conclusions on Syria, as well as the Sahel crisis, have reflected the need for a separation between the political agenda and humanitarian assistance. In OCHA’s engagements with EU staff and EU member states, interlocutors continually demonstrate a good understanding of the importance of independent humanitarian action. On Syria, NATO has respected the independence of humanitarian action. In OCHA’s engagements with NATO HQ staff and NATO member states, interlocutors continually demonstrate a good understanding of the importance of independent humanitarian action.


b) AFISMA Concept of Operations for Mali includes protection of humanitarian space, with civilians leading on the delivery of humanitarian assistance. ECOWAS prepared and endorsed their three-year humanitarian action plan, informed by collective humanitarian priorities and analysis of a range of regional players and Member States, including OCHA and the IASC.


Twenty-two Member States and one regional organization in the Asia-Pacific region participated in consultative workshops on the guide for disaster managers, demonstrating their commitment to working together on international tools and services. 


Maintain achievements.

3. Deployment of foreign MCDA to support humanitarian relief operations is needs based, more predictable, appropriate and effective.

Multiple instances of inappropriate deployment and use of foreign MCDA by Member States and regional organizations.


Agreement in principle at the Annual MCDA Consultative Group meeting 2012, Member States and regional organizations to consult with the ERC/OCHA before deploying foreign MCDA to support humanitarian emergencies.


OCHA has established a mechanism to guide Member States and partners on the use of foreign MCDA to support emerging humanitarian operations through issuing contextual guidance. This approach has been positively received by participants of the Consultative Group on the use of MCDA.


Member States and regional organizations systematically consult with the ERC/OCHA prior to deploying MCDA in support of humanitarian relief operations, which should be in accordance with global or more specific regional, internationally agreed guidelines.