About OCHA Eastern Africa

* The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on all maps do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

OCHA Regional Presence and Current Strategy

In response to the drought and famine crisis in the Horn of Africa in 2011, OCHA streamlined its presence in Nairobi into a single office for Eastern Africa. The new hub plays a critical role in providing first-line surge support to crisis-affected countries where there is no OCHA presence, in Kenya, Burundi, Djibouti, Rwanda and Uganda.

Comprising the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes, Eastern Africa is a region in which emergencies tend to be large scale, resulting in significant displacement and other needs. For this reason, OCHA maintains country presences in Eritrea, Ethiopia, DRC, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. For those countries where OCHA does not have a presence, it is essential that OCHA can deploy from the regional hub swiftly and effectively in times of emergency, and to otherwise ensure preparedness for potential crises. OCHA Eastern Africa works closely with local authorities and partners to bolster national disaster preparedness in these countries and supports response.

Whether we’re mobilizing relief money or raising awareness of forgotten crises, it’s our mandate to keep world attention focused on humanitarian issues. For this reason, we produce and release timely regional reporting and analytical products to strengthen the humanitarian case and highlight the needs of the most vulnerable in the region. OCHA Eastern Africa also provides a platform for the analysis of cross-border issues of humanitarian concern, such as facilitating multi-country preparedness and planning consultations. Through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), and in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), OCHA Eastern Africa supports the implementation of the IASC/Inter-Agency Plan of Action on the Horn of Africa. It works to strengthen collaboration with regional bodies such as IGAD on emergency preparedness and response.

OCHA in Kenya

The office provides intensified support services to Kenya as one of the countries that was hardest hit by the 2011 drought and has seen substantial displacement due to inter-communal conflict in 2012 and floods in 2013. OCHA Eastern Africa continues to support the government, the Humanitarian Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team and humanitarian partners through the coordination of humanitarian financing, the implementation of the country’s million (check) humanitarian response plan, operational coordination, information management and advocacy. At field level, OCHA will continue to work in the volatile north and north-eastern areas through its office in Dadaab to advocate and coordinate effective support to fragile communities. With the overall humanitarian situation in Kenya improving, the office hopes to scale back its services to Kenya by the end of 2013.

Forward Strategy

In 2013, OCHA Eastern Africa will continue to respond to the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa and work to bolster preparedness in Burundi, Djibouti, Rwanda and Uganda. In Kenya, OCHA continues to support Government-led national and local coordination, preparing information products that clearly convey the humanitarian situation in the country. OCHA Eastern Africa will continue to lead regional coordination efforts and provide front-line surge to countries in the region. OCHA will maintain its key roles in humanitarian financing, operational coordination, information management and advocacy. It will also assess developments with regard to drought, security and political climate to determine whether its field presence in Kenya continues to be fit for purpose.

OCHA Eastern Africa Primary Contacts 



Pete Manfield Head of Office
Aida Mengistu Deputy Head of Office
Valerie Valdivieso Head of Administration
Tamara Van Vliet Head of Communication & Information
Dirk Jan Omtzigt Head of Information and Analysis Unit