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COORDINATION ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD

 
 
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
 
 
Africa
 
 
Middle East
 
 
Asia
 
 
   
Indonesia  
 
   
Islamic Republic of Iran  
 
   
Nepal  
 
   
Pakistan  
 
   
Papua New Guinea  
 
   
Sri Lanka  
 
   
Regional Disaster Response Advisor for Asia  
 
   
Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific  
 
   
Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific  
 
Europe
 
 
Americas and the Caribbean
 

 

Indonesia


Prior to the massive 26 December 2004 earthquake and tsunami, OCHA had maintained an office in Indonesia to assist with finding peaceful solutions to conflict, improving national capacity to mitigate and respond to disasters and other humanitarian crises, and ensuring the protection of rights for people affected by conflict or disaster. Because conditions appeared to be more conducive to recovery and longer term development, OCHA had planned to close its offices in June 2005.

However, following the earthquake and tsunami, which resulted in the deaths of over 130,000 people, with at least 30,000 more missing, OCHA retained its office in Jakarta, and expanded its presence in Aceh and North Sumatra Provinces to assist with post-tsunami coordination and information management activities during the humanitarian and early recovery phase. The tsunami disaster resulted in the destruction or damage of over 100,000 homes, tens of thousands of kilometers of roads, and thousands of bridges, schools and hospitals. Ten months after the tsunami and following the 28 March 2005 earthquakes, there are still approximately 535,000 IDPs requiring ongoing humanitarian assistance, many of whom were previously affected by the thirty-year insurgency movement fighting for Acehnese independence.

In 2006, upon the recommendation of a joint assessment mission conducted by OCHA, UNDP, and BCPR, OCHA will continue to support coordination and information management following the earthquake and tsunami through the integrated Office of the UN Recovery Coordinator (UNORC) in Aceh and in support of the Government’s Bureau for Recovery and Reconstruction (BRR).

Although the recovery and reconstruction effort is well underway, the humanitarian phase has not ended. OCHA’s work will highlight ongoing humanitarian needs, encourage cooperation and information sharing amongst all humanitarian and development partners, and improve and solidify existing coordination mechanisms that will continue even after the humanitarian phase ends. In Jakarta, OCHA will support the Office of the RC/HC to continue to respond to the country’s ongoing conflicts and to ensure disaster preparedness and response capacities of both the UN and the government are strengthened and developed. It will also liaise with donors based in Jakarta and conduct inter-agency coordination activities.

In particular, OCHA’s key objectives for 2006 are to: facilitate and strengthen coordination mechanisms in Aceh and Nias; ensure that humanitarian needs are met, particularly in the tsunami-affected region; promote an effective transition from relief to recovery to reconstruction in the tsunami affected areas; and promote disaster response management preparedness and response. As Indonesia is a disaster prone country under high seismological, volcanic and forest fire risks, OCHA will also need to support strengthened contingency planning.

On a quarterly basis, OCHA will review its continued presence and role, and will scale back when possible. OCHA does plan to phase out during 2006 and will see its coordination support function assumed by the Resident Coordinator’s office. OCHA also will gradually phase out its support to the UNORC during 2006 to correspond with the reduction of humanitarian needs.

Activities:

  • Encourage greater involvement of government authorities, UN agencies and NGOs in
    coordination mechanisms.
  • Extend the presence of UNORC to build local government coordination capacity in currently neglected and under resourced locations.
  • Ensure that coordination mechanisms are results orientated by bringing together a variety of aid organisations and government bodies to identify existing humanitarian needs, and in particular provide support to initiatives aimed at ensuring that all IDPs receive adequate temporary shelter.
  • Collect, map and analyze location and needs of affected populations and advocate for a timely response.
  • Support public information/public awareness campaigns to inform IDPs about relief and recovery and reconstruction programmes, and their access to the programmes.
  • Maintain an information management service to provide data that identifies existing gaps and supports a strategic, coordinated approach.
  • Promote coordination and collaboration between the government and agencies working in the relief and recovery phase with incoming development reconstruction agencies.
  • Support and build government capacity at all levels to assume responsibility for coordination mechanisms and information management.
  • Support and strengthen the government’s emergency response and coordination capacity at the national, provincial and local levels.
  • Ensure the incorporation of disaster mitigation and preparedness into reconstruction projects, including public information campaigns.

Indicators:

  • Percent of sectoral needs met in areas with critical gaps (eg. shelter).
  • Number and percent of sectoral groups that meet on a regular basis and that provide regular performance feedback.
  • Coordination structures increasingly led by BRR function regularly, are well attended and address identified needs/gaps.
  • Number of disaster response and preparedness plans developed.
  • Needs coverage by sector and region.
  • OCHA exit in 2006.
INDONESIA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
19
National
16
Local (GS)
20
UN Volunteers
1
Total
56
Staff costs (US$)
2,378,638
Non-staff costs (US$)
1,219,270
Total costs (US$)
3,597,908

 


Islamic Republic of Iran


Iran is a country that is prone to disasters and the human and material losses they cause can be extremely serious, as witnessed by the tragic consequences of the Bam earthquake of 26 December 2003 that claimed more than 30,000 lives. Iran is not only located in one of the most seismically active areas in the world, with an average occurrence of major earthquakes every two to three years, but the country also frequently suffers from floods and droughts due to its mostly arid and semi-arid climate. The upsurge in rapid urban growth, including that caused by displacement of rural populations due to drought, in conjunction with inadequately regulated building and urban development are factors leading to the accumulation of earthquake disaster risk.

During the last decade a significant number of natural disasters were reported, including four major earthquakes, a number of devastating floods and the worst drought in the last thirty years, which lasted for more than three years. Even though the last decade of the millennium witnessed less loss of lives caused by natural disasters in Iran, the population affected by each disaster increased sharply.

Iran has a very effective national system for disaster relief, yet the country would benefit from proactive support for dealing with disasters. While technical tools such as building codes and policy and legislative instruments (e.g. the National Disaster Management Plan) do exist and are being improved, their application for risk reduction has been limited. The country has extensive scientific and technical information sources to predict natural hazards. However, there is a continued need to bring all this information together to provide useful and advanced early warning to vulnerable communities.

Drawing on the decade-long joint work between the government and the United Nations system in response to natural disaster challenges, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) covering the period of 2005 to 2009 identified inter alia the field of disaster risk management and vulnerability reduction at the national and local level as a specific area of cooperation between the government and the UN system. The Disaster Management Team (DMT) in Tehran has begun to gear up for the achievement of this goal and each of the DMT agencies has included disaster-related issues in their respective programs. The Disaster Management Plan (DMP) is also in its final stage of preparation. However, while the United Nations teams often respond exceedingly well to immediate crises, their focus on longer-term objectives needs to be strengthened.

It was in this context that OCHA first set up its presence in Iran as an immediate emergency response to the Bam earthquake. It has since discontinued its coordination center at the Bam international camp and established its office in Tehran to provide more general support to the UN Resident Coordinator and the government with the aim of achieving the UNDAF goal. OCHA Tehran currently consists of a national Head of Office, a Program and Administrative assistant and a driver/clerk and is planning to increase the number of staff members by one in order to separate its disaster management and response duties from the office administration. This will allow better concentration on the activities related to disaster management and emergency response. Should the need for a greater presence become critical, OCHA additionally plans to deploy an international staff in support of the national team.

OCHA Tehran’s goals for 2006 are to strengthen the disaster response capacity and preparedness in the country by providing leadership for humanitarian coordination and to support further advocacy efforts for humanitarian issues. To this end, OCHA Tehran will focus as a first priority on its coordination role by promoting and providing support to joint UN disaster management and preparedness activities and a second priority on assisting the Government of Iran to increase its current capacity for disaster response up to the level of internationally advanced countries in the field of humanitarian assistance. The third priority of OCHA Tehran during the year 2006 will be to increase its advocacy efforts through the expansion of projects related to Middle East initiatives and the promotion of humanitarian education. The fourth priority will be to optimize the office’s capacity for response to natural disasters at any magnitude by better and effective management of its own resources and by deploying additional resources, as required, with the support of the newly established Regional Office in Dubai.

Activities:

  • Ensure the proper functioning of preparedness and response mechanisms to facilitate collaboration within the UN system and with governmental and local partners and, if required, assist in the creation of new mechanisms such as a National Secretariat for Disaster Reduction and a National Emergency Management Center.
  • Review and optimize the UN DMT structure in Iran.
  • Initiate and develop the UN Emergency Roster.
  • Ensure improved information management and sharing for timely and effective humanitarian decision-making.
  • Organize capacity training and lessons learnt workshops to improve local response capacity.
  • Promote humanitarian education through universities and other education and research institutes.
  • Promote regional cooperation in the field of disaster management through interactive dialogue and sharing of experiences and technologies.

Indicators:

  • Number of Early Warning mechanisms enhanced through OCHA’s support.
  • Number of new relationships and partnerships with Iranian universities and institutions with a view to increase attention and interest in the issues related to humanitarian assistance as part of the Middle East Initiative.
  • Number of partners that sign up to get involved in disasters outside Iran.
  • Two updated UN Disaster Management Plans, with full participation of all concerned resident agencies.
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
-
National
1
Local (GS)
2
UN Volunteers
-
Total
3
Staff costs (US$)
86,106
Non-staff costs (US$)
189,280
Total costs (US$)
275,386

 


Nepal


Since the collapse of the August 2003 cease-fire, Nepal has been experiencing an expansion of the long-term insurgency initiated by the Communist Party of Nepal/Maoists (CPN/M), which has claimed over 12,000 lives since 1996. The traditional coping mechanisms of the population, coupled with the contribution of overseas remittances (estimated at 15 percent of GDP) have thus far prevented a slide into a more typical relief context, although deterioration is evident. Additionally, the combination of poor governance, lack of economic opportunities and human rights abuses is contributing to large population movements. The best estimates of the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nepal suggest around 200,000, and even larger numbers have moved across the border to India.

The entire country is now affected by violence and humanitarian access to the worst conflict-affected areas remains a major challenge. The government is unable to deliver basic services in many districts. The UN and its implementing partners increasingly have been threatened by CPN/M and, sometimes, government forces: supplies and motorcycles have been seized and some staff members have been temporarily detained. In addition, the disruption of commercial, government and international humanitarian/development activities is on the rise, often caused by blockades which are sometimes nationwide but more usually take place in individual districts or regions. Bureaucratic restrictions from the government’s side have also stifled efforts by humanitarian NGOs to expand programmes.

Monitoring of the overall situation – notably the impact of the conflict on populations and programmes – is a key challenge. The clampdown on the media since the King’s takeover on 1 February 2005 means that a key source of information has been muted. UN agencies, donors, INGOs and others have a large number of programmes and staff based across the country; however, information sharing and coordination between agencies remains weak. The challenging and increasingly dangerous operating environment makes improved coordination crucial to the safe delivery of assistance and efforts to prevent a further slide into a humanitarian emergency.

In addition to the impact of the conflict, natural disasters continue to affect communities across the country. Along with seasonal flooding and landslides, there is great concern about the prospect of a major earthquake. Response efforts – especially at the national level – to the regular small-to-mid-scale disasters are routinely hampered by conflict-related access challenges.

OCHA will operate from shared field offices with OHCHR in Nepalgunj and Biratnagar with one international staff in each location, supported by a national coordination officer in both stations. It is expected that a national coordination officer will be recruited to be duty stationed in Pokhara.

In 2006, OCHA’s objectives are to: provide a unified picture to all stakeholders of needs and response to humanitarian/development challenges; improve coordination, decision making and response to better target vulnerable groups, including IDPs; establish and implement the Collaborative Approach on Protection; develop and implement a common IASC advocacy and communication strategy; and strengthen the IASC common approach to disaster preparedness and response.

Activities:

  • Establish regular field-based inter-agency analysis and reporting on issues of humanitarian concern.
  • Develop, maintain and regularly update the Nepal Information Platform website.
  • Prepare and issue thematic maps. Provide GIS consultancy services to UN agencies and sectoral working groups.
  • Provide support and backstopping to sectoral coordination focal points (central and regional) and facilitate working sessions on available data sets and ‘gap identification’ for future monitoring and targeting needs. Support or lead other formal and informal humanitarian coordination initiatives at a central and regional level.
  • Coordinate the Consolidated Appeals Process including associated advocacy, monitoring and the mid-year review.
  • Lead, and participate in, inter-agency needs assessments of vulnerable groups and people, especially for IDPs.
  • Provide technical and logistical support for IASC contingency planning exercises for complex emergencies and natural disasters and update and maintain the inter-agency contingency plan.
  • Work with UN agencies, government, the international community and local NGOs to develop a common IDP response strategy.
  • Assist the IASC to develop a broader protection framework and provide inter alia support to Protection Working Groups at regional and national levels.
  • Work with IASC members and the international community in general to develop and implement a common public information and advocacy strategy to target key decision makers on humanitarian issues, such as operational access for humanitarian actors.
  • Work with the media (national and international) to raise awareness on humanitarian issues in Nepal.
  • Assist the IASC in developing national/IASC/UNCT contingency plans and natural disaster response preparedness and management plans (damage and needs assessment, response planning, coordination of operations, mobilization of international resources, etc.).
  • Advocate on the nature and applicability of humanitarian principles and practices.

Indicators:

  • Number and average duration of website hits.
  • Number of agencies participating in joint needs assessment missions.
  • Number and percent of functioning sectoral coordination bodies as defined by attendance
    of principal actors.
  • Production, ratification and implementation of a National Protection Strategy/IDP Strategy.
  • Incorporation of, or reference to, the IDP Guiding Principles into national legislation.
  • Number of national disaster, contingency plans developed and adopted by the IASC country team.
NEPAL
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
8
National
6
Local (GS)
6
UN Volunteers
-
Total
20
Staff costs (US$)
1,793,339
Non-staff costs (US$)
520,648
Total costs (US$)
2,313,987

 


Pakistan


On 8 October 2005 a massive earthquake hit northern Pakistan, devastating towns and villages in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). During the first emergency phase, landslides and rainstorms combined with the high, mountainous terrain blocked access to the affected areas, which made relief operations extremely challenging. The destruction of shelter threatened countless lives with the imminent onset of winter in difficult to reach mountainous areas, as did the complexity of the required humanitarian response and the lack of transport means (helicopters), tents and funding for the Flash Appeal. The massive devastation that was initially wrought by the earthquake, combined with the ongoing crises of shelter, food, water, sanitation, and healthcare along with the recovery challenge, requires that funding continue well beyond the immediate relief period.

OCHA’s support was requested by the Government of Pakistan to coordinate the international response to the emergency. An UNDAC team and OCHA staff were deployed to Islamabad and the affected region within 24 hours and further UNDAC teams and OCHA staff were deployed to cover initial coordination needs. A Flash Appeal was issued on 11 October 2005, probably the fastest ever for a major disaster, and revised upward on 26 October in response to higher acute needs than initially estimated. The Appeal requested US$ 550 million in support of the programmes providing earthquake relief in various sectors of the UN agencies, international and national humanitarian NGOs involved.

During the acute emergency relief phase, OCHA established field presences in Pakistan to support the coordination functions performed by the UNRC/HC and the UN Country Team. Based on the coordination requirements identified by the field-based teams, and in view of needs assessment missions and the increasing level of access, OCHA established a presence to support coordination activities in Islamabad, Muzafarrabad, Mansehra, and Bagh, with a Support Unit within OCHA-Geneva. The Islamabad office also contains a Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC).

The Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) designated the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan as Humanitarian Coordinator, and appointed a senior Humanitarian Area Coordinator (HAC) for the relief efforts. The HAC (Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator to be designated by ERC) deployed to Muzafarrabad to lead the coordination efforts in the most affected area in support of the Government of Pakistan and assessment of emergency relief requirements.

In light of the difficulties of the response efforts mobilized by the international community toward this earthquake and its consequences, and especially considering the challenges in logistics, the OCHA presence in Pakistan will need to continue supporting the UNRC/HC in coordination activities during the emergency relief, early recovery and transition to econstruction/rehabilitation phase. Unlike other disasters, the emergency relief phase has lasted quite a long time, taxing the international community’s ability to save lives and provide life-sustaining items to the affected populations, many of whom have no shelter and are often unreached. The needs assessment for the recovery and reconstruction phase has been taking place, but it is foreseen that there will be an extended ‘transitional’ period during which humanitarian relief will remain necessary while the recovery and reconstruction efforts gain momentum.

OCHA’s key objectives in 2006 are to: maintain operational coordination mechanisms for the humanitarian community and provide an effective interface between humanitarian actors, bilateral partners, government and provincial authorities, and local actors; coordinate the identification of overall humanitarian needs, help develop common humanitarian strategies for meeting these needs, encourage humanitarian partners to monitor progress, and analyse the impact of programmes and adjust them if necessary; maintain a Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) to identify gaps and assist with planning and coordination; facilitate the relationship between the civilian and military components of the relief operation so as to make the most efficient use of military and civil defence assets; promote respect for international humanitarian principles, human rights and the guiding principles on internal displacement; and develop linkages between humanitarian and recovery/development actors to promote a transition strategy aimed at phasing out relief assistance and increasing recovery activities at an early stage. It is planned that OCHA will exit by mid-year 2006 and that the RC/HC will have coordination support provided under the recovery support team.

Activities:

  • Assist the UNRC/HC in advocating for the plight of the victims and for funding of UN activities throughout the critical months of winter.
  • Assist the UNRC/HC and the Country Team in coordinating emergency response activities in support of the Government of Pakistan.
  • Provide support to the UNRC/HC in carrying out his humanitarian coordination duties, including civil-military coordination, addressing access issues and mobilizing financial and human resources.
  • Convene coordination meetings for assessing the situation, addressing issues of common concern, developing strategies, sharing lessons learned, and networking.
  • Collect, analyse and disseminate timely and reliable information and organise and participate in inter-agency field assessment missions to identify needs, gaps in response, capacities and resources. Plan smooth handover of tasks from relief to recovery and development.
  • Advocate for international humanitarian principles through proactive information sessions.
  • Convene regular information meetings for Member States in Geneva to provide a forum for exchange on priority needs, key challenges and assistance provided.

Indicators:

  • Needs coverage by sector and region.
  • Number and type of military and civil defence assets mobilized and utilized to support UN/agency response.
  • Sectoral responsibilities defined and effective for all clusters.
  • Number and percent of fully-functioning cluster groups (e.g.: with regular meetings, action plans and monitoring systems).
  • Common humanitarian response plan developed and adopted by all key actors
  • Average number of agencies, donors and NGOs attending OCHA-organized briefing sessions.
  • Number and percent of cluster working groups with joint humanitarian/recovery/development membership; percent of cluster working groups with agreed to transition strategy.
PAKISTAN
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
19
National
9
Local (GS)
16
UN Volunteers
-
Total
44
Staff costs (US$)
2,550,329
Non-staff costs (US$)
1,039,600
Total costs (US$)
3,589,929

 


Papua New Guinea


Papua New Guinea (PNG) – home to 50 percent of the population of the Pacific region – faces a variety of challenges with humanitarian consequences including numerous natural disasters (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, drought, tsunamis), conflict-prone areas, a proliferation of small arms, a high degree of violence and criminality, an explosive HIV/AIDS problem and weak governance. Many IDPs remain from previous volcanic eruptions. In addition, political tensions have given rise to armed conflict in some areas, with the possibility of future conflict impossible to rule out.

The various stakeholders unanimously agree that the UN needs to play a much more proactive role in coordination than it has in the past and that the establishment of an OCHA presence with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) is a high priority. The recently appointed UNRC in PNG is committed to the UN assuming a leadership role in aid coordination overall and to strengthening UN support to natural disaster management.

The Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO) will, in support of the UNRC, give technical support to ensure information sharing and coordination of UN agency and other humanitarian partners’ interventions. The position of HAO has been identified to act as focal point for emergencies within the UN System and to act as a secretariat in support of the Resident Coordinator (RC) and the UN Country Management Team (UN-CMT). This position provides the essential interface between the UN System and the national body responsible for disaster management.

OCHA’s objectives in 2006 are to: respond in a timely and effective manner to new natural disasters; ensure information sharing and coordination of UN agency and other humanitarian partners’ interventions; establish a secretariat in support of the Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Management Team (UN-CMT); and ensure up to date UNCT contingency plans.

Activities:

  • Respond quickly and appropriately to natural disasters in PNG by supporting UNDAC and other UN emergency missions whenever required.
  • Monitor the situation of natural disasters and report to both the CRD and ROAP in a timely manner.
  • Improve existing mechanisms for rapid response, such as INSARAG and promote regional participation in the UNDAC system in collaboration with ESB.
  • Contribute to the establishment of national multi-hazard early warning mechanisms in support of CRD and ROAP, including enhanced use of the tsunami early warning system in the Pacific, and tropical storm early warning systems.
  • Facilitate discussion and sharing of know-how and resources among national and regional partners, NGOs, bilateral donors, regional organisations and UN agencies.
  • Strengthen coordination mechanisms within the UN and with donors, the IFRC, and NGOs.
  • Establish and maintain links with the UNCT cluster leads to ensure proper information flows and exchanges between the cluster leads in response to complex emergencies or natural disasters.
  • Provide support to the UNCT in developing national/UNCT contingency plans and natural disaster response preparedness and management plans including damage and needs assessment, response planning, coordination of operations and mobilization of international resources.

Indicators:

  • Number of requests for participation in UNDAC missions and other OCHA emergency responses and percentage of requests with which office complies.
  • Increased number of actors participating in national initiatives on natural disaster response preparedness.
  • Number of request for assistance by the UNCT and the government. Percentage of requests with which office complies.
  • Number and percent of updated national/UNCT contingency plans under the leadership of the UNCT.
  • Number of contributions to newsletters/Web sites run by governments, UN agencies, and national organizations.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
1
National
-
Local (GS)
1
UN Volunteers
-
Total
2
Staff costs (US$)
191,006
Non-staff costs (US$)
105,712
Total costs (US$)
296,718

 


Sri Lanka


The Indian Ocean Tsunami on 26 December 2004 brought unprecedented tragedy to Sri Lanka, claiming over 38,000 lives and displacing more than half a million people. Apart from the enormous overall damage caused by the disaster, in a number of districts this damage has been compounded by the unhealed wounds and unresolved problems of many years of civil conflict. Between 25 and 33 percent of the population in the affected districts live below the national poverty line. The total financing needs for post-tsunami recovery are estimated to be in the range of US$ 2 billion.

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has developed the National Post-Tsunami Recovery and Reconstruction Plan, providing an overall policy framework and national priorities. The key goal identified by the GoSL for the reconstruction is to ensure the restoration of services and livelihoods to a standard that is higher than that prior to the disaster. Implementation will occur through mechanisms established at the national, provincial and community levels, and envisages programmes to be spearheaded by the government, in particular through a Task Force on Rebuilding the Nation (TAFREN).

It is widely accepted by the government, donors and operating/implementing partners that the primary concern and goal for 2005-2006 is bridging the gap from relief to recovery, thus ensuring a smooth transition to sustainable solutions. To assist planning and coordination in this period, the RC/HC and OCHA team on the ground have initiated the process of developing a UN Transitional Strategy (UNTS), approved by the expanded UN Country Team (UNCT) and including international financial institutions. It defines and outlines the UN’s response to assist the GoSL to meet their priorities and the four program areas of the TAFREN: (i) Get people back into homes; (ii) Get people back to work; (iii) Provide education, health and protection for all; (iv) Upgrade national infrastructure. Within this process, OCHA’s primary role will be continuing to highlight ongoing humanitarian needs to ensure they are not lost within the larger reconstruction effort. Preparedness and contingency planning should also remain central during the planning of the reconstruction phase.

The Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) will continue to provide a range of information products and services, including coordination of databases, maps, data archiving and technical support. This contribution in information management will strengthen the overall humanitarian response and recovery activities.

With an estimated 180 agencies expected to operate in Sri Lanka during 2006, the biggest challenge for the six OCHA offices and for the HIC will be to continue to facilitate the coordination efforts of the RC/HC and UNCT. Special attention will be paid to working with
the NGO community.

For 2006, OCHA’s key objectives are to: provide support to the Office of the RC/HC within post-tsunami operations, in conjunction and close collaboration with the Senior Recovery Advisor; strengthen the field coordination structure for cooperation at field level; facilitate the UN’s contribution to the GoSL’s rehabilitation and reconstruction plan; support the strengthening of information management and advocacy activities, in particular effective tracking and monitoring of tsunami related needs and response, to ensure maximum transparency and accountability; and achieve an improved level of understanding and capacity to conduct and support disaster preparedness and contingency planning and implementation. It is planned that by mid-2006, OCHA will have transferred its coordination support functions to the recovery coordination mechanisms and closed the OCHA presences.

Activities:

  • Strengthen coordination mechanisms, including the UN Focal Point system, at strategic and operational levels to increase effectiveness and efficiency, and develop strong partnerships.
  • Provide technical advice and assistance, and full secretarial support, to RC/HC and UNCT. Enhance coordination and ensure effective interface exists between UN, donors, NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and government at central and local levels.
  • Support the promotion and application of the UN Transitional Strategy as a framework tool for coordination and resource management.
  • Support/work together with the Senior Recovery Advisor to monitor the implementation of the Transitional Strategy.
  • Produce regular humanitarian situation reports and humanitarian monitoring matrices indicating trends and constraints developed at the central and district level.
  • Facilitate data collection and processing, validation of facts and figures, and the preparation for a sustainable handover.
  • Facilitate and monitor outcomes from the national and regional tsunami lessons learned workshop, and support trainings for various actors on disaster preparedness and disaster management.
  • Assist UNDP and inter-agency efforts in contingency planning, disaster preparedness and readiness for rapid response in case of emergency.

Indicators:

  • Number and percent of coordination structures, led by relevant government authorities, that function regularly and are well attended by a variety of active organizations, addressing identified gaps in a timely, appropriate manner.
  • National Disaster Management Plan is prepared by GoSL in cooperation with specialized agencies and UNCT.
  • UN Transitional Strategy is implemented in a coordinated manner with other government and institutional actors’ policies and programming.
  • Needs coverage by sector and region.
  • OCHA exit by mid-2006.
SRI LANKA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
15
National
-
Local (GS)
35
UN Volunteers
-
Total
50
Staff costs (US$)
1,466,160
Non-staff costs (US$)
352,221
Total costs (US$)
1,818,381

 


Regional Disaster Response Advisor for Asia


Since its establishment in 2000, the Regional Disaster Response Advisor office in Kobe, Japan (RDRA Kobe), has actively supported the region’s UN Resident Coordinators (UNRCs) and the UN Disaster Management Teams (UNDMTs) and national governments both in their response to disasters and in the coordination of disaster response preparedness activities.

In 2005, the office was actively involved in preparing the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR), which was held in Kobe and established the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) as a global strategy of disaster risk reduction. The RDRA Kobe will play an important role as the focal point in the region to follow up the HFA, especially by taking an active role in the International Recovery Platform (IRP) initiated at the WCDR, in cooperation with ISDR, UNDP, ADRC and other relevant organizations.

Following OCHA’s opening of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) in Bangkok in 2005, the RDRA Kobe will continue to focus on East Asia while also operating as an integral part of a new regional structure covering both Asia and the Pacific. This new arrangement gives the RDRA Kobe an opportunity to strengthen its support to UNRCs, UNCTs and national and local governments, particularly in disaster preparedness activities.

In light of the massive efforts mobilized by the international community in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, in 2006 the RDRA Kobe also will participate in some tsunami related projects in support of coordination activities undertaken by the ROAP.

The RDRA’s objectives in 2006 are to: monitor the situation of natural disasters in East Asia and respond quickly and appropriately; follow up the Hyogo Framework for Action to enhance disaster response preparedness and management capacity; and promote regional cooperation.

Activities:

  • Monitor the situation of natural disasters in East Asia and report to both CRD and ROAP in a timely manner through ensuring regular liaison with national focal points in East Asia and undertaking field visits with a view to gathering information and identifying issues of concern that require support of both headquarters and the ROAP.
  • Respond quickly and appropriately to natural disasters by supporting UNDAC and other UN emergency missions whenever required. Improve existing mechanisms for rapid response, such as INSARAG, and promote regional participation in the UNDAC system in collaboration with ESB.
  • Contribute to the establishment of national multi-hazard early warning mechanisms in support of CRD and ROAP. Contribute to the establishment of the tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean by assisting in the development of national response plans and training.
  • Based on OCHA’s contribution to the Hyogo Framework for Action, provide technical assistance to national government institutions in support of efforts to enhance their capacity for disaster response preparedness and management.
  • Contribute to the International Recovery platform by developing specific projects in support of CRD and by participating in its Secretariat as a liaison of OCHA Geneva.
  • In the context of Total Disaster Risk Management, provide support to UNCTs in developing national/ UNCTs contingency plans and natural disaster response preparedness and management plans including damage and needs assessment, response planning, coordination of operations, and mobilization of international resources.
  • Facilitate discussion and sharing of know-how and resources among national and regional partners in emergency response and preparedness. Develop joint initiatives with governments, UN agencies and relevant national and regional organizations.
  • Promote awareness of disaster preparedness and emergency response efforts, including developing information tools for this purpose.

Indicators:

  • Number of situation reports based on information from the RDRA.
  • Number of request for assistance by UNCTs and governments in the region; percentage of requests with which office complies.
  • Number and percentage of countries with plans in place to follow up on the Hyogo Framework.
  • Number of new partnerships or joint projects in the region.
  • Number of contributions to newsletters/Web sites run by governments, UN agencies, and national and regional organizations in the region.
RDRA ASIA
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
1
National
-
Local (GS)
1
UN Volunteers
-
Total
2
Staff costs (US$)
306,795
Non-staff costs (US$)
56,658
Total costs (US$)
363,453

 


Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific


The Pacific is one of the most disaster prone regions in the world. Severe cyclones, floods, landslides and other localized natural phenomena annually hit the region. This highly diversified region is characterised by isolation, a high degree of dependence on external support to meet people’s basic needs, ongoing governance challenges and a growing problem with HIV/AIDS. Such a unique and complex set of characteristics warrants a stronger UN engagement.

Since its inception in mid-1999, the Office of the Regional Disaster Response Advisor (RDRA) for the Pacific has been providing technical support to UN Resident Coordinators, UN Country Teams and national disaster management offices in responding to disaster events and conducting preparedness activities. However, to date the capacities of the UN system have not been sufficiently galvanized.

Coordination within and outside the UN system has been limited and there has not been a clear vision either of the UN role in the region or of the ways it could complement existing capacities and the efforts of other actors. OCHA, with its one professional staff member covering the entire region, operating in the absence of a larger UN vision or strategy and within the confines of a limited UN engagement in natural disaster activities, has had difficulties in achieving its objectives.

There is a common recognition by donors, regional organizations and governments alike of the need for greater UN/donor coherence on how to cooperate both in crisis situations and in non-crisis situations. In addition to response and preparedness, OCHA has an important role to play as an integrating force in establishing a regional platform for dialogue, coordination, cooperation, and information sharing.

An additional position of Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO) has been identified to support the RDRA in her/ his functions to overcome these problems. A specific focus for the HAO will be to give support to the regional United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC) to ensure a timely utilization of this and other UN response mechanisms, and to encourage a better integration of the overall UN response in the region. The HAO will take an active part in all aspects of RDRA office activities and will work in close contact with the UN Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams in the region, building on regional frameworks and in support of regional institutions. The RDRA Office in Fiji, with the augmentation provided by the additional HAO, will bring force to the new OCHA Pacific Strategy that will, inter alia, provide the third link in the chain of three regional RDRAs covering Asia and the Pacific.

As such, the RDRA’s objectives for 2006 are to: respond in a timely and effective manner to new natural disasters; enhance regional disaster response preparedness and management capacities; promote regional cooperation; and continue to provide general support to UNCT regional offices.

Activities:

  • Support UNDAC and other UN emergency missions whenever required.
  • Improve existing mechanisms for rapid response, such as INSARAG, and promote regional participation in the UNDAC system in collaboration with ESB.
  • Contribute to the establishment of national multi-hazard early warning mechanisms in support of CRD and the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP).
  • Provide technical assistance to national government institutions and partners.
  • Provide support to UNCTs in developing national/ UNCT contingency plans and natural disaster response preparedness and management plans. Assess regional capacities and identify gaps.
  • Strengthen partnerships and policy with the UNCTs and national disaster management focal points by establishing and maintaining links with the UNCTs and national focal points. Maintain the directory of these organizations.
  • Facilitate discussion and sharing of knowledge and resources among national and regional partners, NGOs, bilateral donors, regional organisations and UN agencies to support the creation of a strategic dialogue and joint initiatives.
  • Promote contingency planning and disaster preparedness throughout the region by working with regional UNCTs to ensure regional CAPs are reviewed and updated.

Indicators:

  • Number of situation reports based on information from the RDRA.
  • Number of requests for assistance by UNCTs and governments in the region; percentage of requests with which office complies.
  • Number and percentage of updated regional/national contingency plans under the leadership of the UNCTs.
  • Number of requests for participation in UNDAC missions and other OCHA emergency responses and percentage of requests with which office complies.
  • Number of contributions to newsletters/Web sites run by governments, UN agencies, and national and regional organizations in the region.
RDRA PACIFIC
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
2
National
-
Local (GS)
1
UN Volunteers
-
Total
3
Staff costs (US$)
399,102
Non-staff costs (US$)
185,876
Total costs (US$)
584,978

 


Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific


Over the past decade, more than half of the world’s natural disasters occurred in Asia and the Pacific. While countries in the region have developed capacities for disaster response and risk reduction at varying levels, many communities remain vulnerable and at risk due to rapid urbanisation, unregulated land-use patterns and environmental degradation. This was particularly apparent in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami that stuck the region on 26 December 2004 and the massive earthquake that hit Pakistan in October 2005.

In addition to vulnerability linked to natural disasters, the humanitarian community is also concerned with the serious humanitarian consequences of existing and evolving complex emergencies and protection needs in the region.

The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) was established in early 2005 with the aim of reinforcing natural disaster response and preparedness activities in the region and supporting humanitarian action already undertaken by UN Country Teams, UN agencies’ regional offices, OCHA’s field presence in Nepal and Regional Disaster Response Advisors (RDRAs) in Japan and Fiji. Following the tsunami disaster, the scope and expectation for ROAP’s involvement in the region was expanded and the capacity increased from what was originally foreseen. Taking advantage of this strengthening of the office, along with new regional partnerships fostered by tsunami-related follow-up activities, ROAP will be prepared to determine requirements in individual countries in the region and respond with targeted technical support and surge capacity in support of governments, UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators (RC/HC) and UN Country Teams (UNCT), particularly in countries with no OCHA presence. In the coming year, OCHA will maintain the current strength of the Office to best support national and international efforts for coherent and consistent measures for emergency situations.

In light of the massive response efforts mobilized by the international community in response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, the Regional Office will need to continue supporting certain tsunami-related coordination activities during the transition and recovery phase. In addition, substantial work is required to support Avian Influenza issues.

The Office’s objectives for 2006 are to: strengthen UN system coordination and capacity to respond to humanitarian requirements through support to RC/ HC, UNCT and OCHA offices with regional actors; facilitate disaster response preparedness and management at the national level with technical advice and mobilize regional/international support; promote regional cooperation among governments and international organizations and enhance emergency response capacities; and ensure OCHA’s role in advocacy and regional back-up support (surge capacity).

Activities:

  • Provide support to national government institutions to enhance their capacity for disaster response and management.
  • Improve existing mechanisms for rapid response and promote regional participation in the UNDAC system.
  • Provide support to a limited number of UNCTs in developing national/UNCT contingency plans and natural disaster response preparedness and management plans.
  • Promote OCHA’s role in facilitating access to international humanitarian partnerships through ROAP initiatives, in particular, on disaster response preparedness for outreach to national and civil society organizations.
  • Deploy ROAP staff to OCHA country offices or RC/HC offices to provide appropriate backstopping/ surge capacity as required, including PI officers/ RDRAs with guidance on advocacy messages and tools on cross-cutting issues.

Indicators:

  • Increased number of regional actors, particularly NGOs, participating in regional initiatives on natural disaster response preparedness.
  • Increase in overall response to emergencies/ participation in UNDAC missions.
  • Number and percentage of supported countries that have updated/ finalized their contingency planning.
  • Percentage of ROAP’s response with back-up support against requests received.
RO ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Planned Staffing Extra-budgetary
Professional
6
National
2
Local (GS)
4
UN Volunteers
1
Total
13
Staff costs (US$)
1,600,948
Non-staff costs (US$)
975,393
Total costs (US$)
2,576,341