OCHA in 2007
Activities and Extra-Budgetary Funding Requirements

coordination activities in the field


 

Indonesia


Indonesia is the world's largest archipelago with a population of more than 245 million spread across 18,000 islands; 62% of the population live on Java Island. The country is prone to disasters and has more earthquakes per year than any other country on earth. Part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire", Indonesia also has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Other disasters, both natural and human-made, such as flash floods, mudslides, forest fires, and droughts regularly lead to civilian casualties, population displacement, loss of livelihoods, property destruction and environmental damage. The threat of human-to-human transmission of Avian and Human Influenza (AHI), leading to a pandemic, is particularly strong in Indonesia.

In 2006, OCHA focused on supporting coordination and information management through Office of the United Nations Recovery Coordinator (UNORC) in Aceh and Nias, and on strengthening disaster preparedness and response capacities of the UN and Government at the national level. At the same time, OCHA was activating a phase out strategy, increasingly handing-over to UNDP.

However, the earthquake in Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces in May killed 5,700 people and damaged or destroyed more than 620,000 houses. OCHA responded with the establishment of a coordination centre in Yogyakarta and spearheaded it for six months. As per the humanitarian reform agenda, the cluster approach was implemented in the Java earthquake operation, allowing OCHA and UN agencies to gain valuable experience which will be useful when responding to new emergencies and disasters that require international assistance. Another large scale earthquake struck Central and West Java provinces in July, and triggered a tsunami that killed more than 600 people and destroyed coastal communities and infrastructure.

The sheer volume of natural disasters that occur in Indonesia warrant a more robust UN capacity than currently exists, and requires OCHA to maintain – at a minimum – a core capacity at current levels, to be strengthened by surge capacity (from ROAP or HQ) when major disasters or other emergencies occur. OCHA's presence will remain as part of the integrated Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, headed by the Deputy to the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator.

Indonesia has made considerable progress in organizing its national humanitarian response system and has largely recovered from years of communal conflicts that displaced 1.4 million people and caused widespread destruction. The UN and its partners are focusing on crisis prevention, mitigation, and longer-term recovery programmes, aiming to support achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) across the breadth and diversity of the country.

Against this background, OCHA's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:

Greater engagement and coordination with national and international NGOs: Using experience gained by responding to various disasters over the past few years, OCHA will place special emphasis on systematic involvement of national and international NGOs in coordination mechanisms, ensure a fully functional country-level IASC structure, and strengthen the coordinated response to new emergencies.

Strengthened in-country coordination: As part of the integrated RC/HC office, OCHA in Indonesia will strengthen the response coordination capacity of the office, advocate for UN agencies' greater engagement in the early recovery coordination, and work closely with the National Coordinating Board for the Management of Disaster to improve its response capacity. It will also seek to define more clearly the parameters for cooperation with the government in natural disaster situations. OCHA will ensure that disaster management and risk reduction are mainstreamed by organising regular meetings of the UN Technical Working Group (TWG) to address prevention, preparedness and mitigation issues.

Improved natural disaster and emergency information management and coordination: OCHA will ensure that effective measures are in place for monitoring, reporting, and responding to natural disasters and other emergencies. Given that the AHI pandemic has a regional dimension, OCHA Indonesia will provide coordination support in conjunction with regional structures.

More predictable and adequate funding: The number and scale of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides and other disasters occurring in Indonesia warrant a more robust UN capacity.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Number of NGOs participating in humanitarian discussions, planning, strategy development, and assessments
  • Number of NGO projects included in appeals/emergency response plans and Emergency Response Fund (ERF)
  • Endorsement by IASC of SOPs for responding to disasters, including the set up of an operations centre
  • Nation-wide contingency planning for natural disasters prepared
  • Percent of OCHA operations budget in Indonesia funded
 

INDONESIA

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
2
National
4
Local (GS)
4
UN Volunteers
0
Total
10

Staff costs (US$)
618,797
Non-staff costs (US$)
384,426

Total costs (US$)
1,003,223



Islamic Republic of Iran


The Islamic Republic of Iran is increasingly prone to natural disasters which erode and in some cases outweigh development gains. Floods and droughts are frequent, as are major earthquakes. Iran is located in one of the most seismically active areas of the world and historical data suggests one major earthquake occurs every two or three years.

Rapid urbanization, including that caused by the displacement of rural population due to drought, together with inadequately regulated building and urban development are among the factors which lead to earthquake disaster risk. There is a growing probability of future earthquake mega-disasters in the major metropolitan areas of the country, with a corresponding risk of major loss of human life, physical and economic damage. During the last decade, Iran endured four major earthquakes, a number of devastating floods and the worst drought in thirty years, which lasted for more than 3 years.

OCHA Iran was established in 2003 to respond to the humanitarian need after the earthquake in Bam killed more than 30,000 people. OCHA provides support to the Government and the United Nations system in Iran to achieve a high capacity of Emergency Response and a more coordinated approach to the concept of Disaster Management. Specifically, OCHA has been assisting UN partners and the Government to strengthen the coordination capacity for disaster response and the provision of humanitarian assistance. OCHA also has been networking with key international players, advocating for increased cooperation within the international community to ensure better preparedness and cooperation during disasters.

OCHA Iran, in its current form and size, has operated under a complex and challenging working environment. In 2006 OCHA Iran provided disaster response services to the UN Resident Coordinator, including information management, damage and needs assessments, government liaison, and other advisory and consultative services. The UN system in Iran has harmonized its approach to humanitarian affairs, and OCHA is administering this through the in-country UN Disaster Management Team (UNDMT). OCHA's advocacy activities during the past year have included the promotion of humanitarian culture through social and academic events; including relevant government, donor, private sector and academic meetings, seminars, and roundtable discussions. In addition, the office is an active party to the OCHA humanitarian assistance outreach activities in the Muslim world.

Against this background, OCHA's key objectives in 2007 will be as follows:

Increased support to consolidated humanitarian reform: OCHA Iran will ensure greater engagement and coordination with national and international NGOs and improve its tools and services. OCHA will ensure the involvement of the local communities in decision making processes and humanitarian preparedness and increase their capacity for mitigating and responding to disasters.

More coherent and sharpened advocacy on humanitarian issues and principles: OCHA Iran will establish a monitoring, reporting and advocacy system through national seminars and regular information bulletins. It will also ensure networking and partnership with religious networks, academia and think tank institutions in promoting humanitarian advocacy.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Number of national partner organizations trained in humanitarian preparedness
  • Number of community-based disaster preparedness pilot projects designed and implemented
  • Number of common advocacy platforms established
 

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
0
National
1
Local (GS)
2
UN Volunteers
0
Total
3

Staff costs (US$)
93,808
Non-staff costs (US$)
150,799

Total costs (US$)
244,607



Nepal


Since 1996, three peace processes have collapsed in Nepal, and a ten-year CPN-Maoist insurgency has caused the deaths of more than 12,000 people. In 2006, the CPN-Maoist and the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) launched a nationwide popular movement against the monarchy, which led to the restoration of Parliament. CPN-Maoist and the SPA have engaged in peace talks, agreed to hold Constituent Assembly elections and a mutually agreed ceasefire has remained in place since April 2006.

Estimates put the number of displaced due to the conflict between 100,000 and 250,000. Seasonal floods, landslides, drought, the threat of an overdue major earthquake, and Avian Influenza outbreaks add to the vulnerability of Nepal, increasing the struggle of an overwhelming impoverished population.

Although the political changes have brought certain improvements in the overall security situation across the country, the CPN-Maoist continue to maintain effective control over the majority of the countryside, refusing to allow access to many service providers from the government. Reports of abductions, extortion and recruitment by the CPN-Maoist have increased and attempts to interfere in humanitarian and development programmes have continued.

New emergency food and nutritional programmes have been initiated to address emergency needs related to drought. Recent assessment missions have found startling levels of malnutrition in lowland Terai districts, where wasting has been found to be as high as 20% amongst children under five years old. A recent study by UNICEF puts Nepal among the 10 most-affected countries for victim-activated explosions.

The capacity to respond to conflict and natural disasters has not been fully established in Nepal. The needs of the population, especially in the most remote areas, still require careful monitoring and bold responses by the specialised agencies. Efforts must increase to ensure operational space, access and safety of aid workers and independent needs-based interventions.

Against this background, OCHA's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:

Improved tools and services:OCHA will provide user-oriented tools and services supporting broad humanitarian decision making. OCHA will also ensure that the data preparedness tool kit is disseminated for use by partners

Strengthened in-country coordination to ensure response to natural disasters is timely and effective: OCHA Nepal will ensure that inter-agency needs assessments are conducted in the event of an emergency, coordination forums and mechanisms are fully established and functioning, and contingency plans for natural disasters and complex emergencies are jointly reviewed. OCHA will also ensure that the Avian Influenza Humanitarian Response task force is fully functional.

More coherent and sharpened advocacy on humanitarian issues and principles as to preserve development and humanitarian space: OCHA Nepal will promote monitoring and reporting on humanitarian principles and Basic Operating Guidelines (BOGs). OCHA will also ensure that an advocacy system is fully established.

Improved coordination and monitoring of IDP issues: OCHA Nepal will ensure that the national IDP policy and implementation plan is harmonized with UN Guiding Principles on IDPs.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Percent of increase in UN and NGO projects that are designed using the data preparedness kit; percent of satisfied users of OCHA's tools and services.
  • Percent of agencies/organizations participating in inter-agency assessments; percent of coordination meetings resulting in actionable decisions.
  • Percent of contingency plans finalized and endorsed by participants of contingency plan review; number of clearances for agencies and NGOs working in controlled areas.
  • Percentage decrease in occurrences of BOG violations
  • National IDP policy established by the beginning of 2007
 

NEPAL

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
6
National
6
Local (GS)
6
UN Volunteers
0
Total
18

Staff costs (US$)
1,226,592
Non-staff costs (US$)
604,550

Total costs (US$)
1,831,142



Papua New Guinea


Papua New Guinea (PNG) is prone to numerous natural hazards which can lead to severe disasters that hamper the development process in both urban and rural locations. These include volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones, large-scale landslides, flooding, sporadic droughts, frosts in highland areas, the impact of climate change and rising sea levels. PNG is also at risk for technical and human-made disasters such as oil spills, industrial pollution and unregulated and destructive land-use practices. Additionally, the threat of Avian and Human Influenza (AHI) has increased over the past year. The social and economic ramifications of these vulnerabilities are multiplied by high levels of occupational vulnerability in PNG due to lack of infrastructure, low human development indicators and a high population growth rate.

The disaster management sector in PNG is developing steadily. The government has a National Disaster Centre (NDC), supported by Provincial Disaster Offices. The National Framework for Action and Corporate Plan is based largely on the Hyogo Framework for Action and plans are underway to implement it and integrate it into relevant line ministries. Furthermore, the Government is reviewing a bill, which would introduce an integrated emergency service, incorporating the currently independent fire and ambulance services with the NDC. Some International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) are in the process of either establishing or expanding their disaster management activities in country.

The UN Resident Coordinator's office, where OCHA has had a presence since January 2006, continues to strengthen overall disaster management coordination among relevant UN agencies and other interested partners. Current capacity of one expatriate Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO), assisted by a national Associate HAO, is expected to remain unchanged in 2007.

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee Disaster Management Team brings together the UN, National Disaster Centre (NDC), donors, the Red Cross/Crescent movement and national and international NGOs to encourage information sharing, provide a platform for coordination and improve levels of preparedness and response. OCHA continues to conduct periodic capacity assessments in vulnerable provinces (as defined by NDC) and supports assessment missions at the request of the Government.

Against this background, OCHA's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:

Strengthened in-country coordination: OCHA will reinforce the AHI Technical Task Force, co-chaired by the Department of Health and OCHA, and the Emergency and IT Telecommunications Committee, to better prepare, coordinate and equip national authorities and non-state actors to respond to an emergency situation caused by a pandemic or natural disaster. The DMT will continue to meet regularly at the working level, with OCHA providing secretariat services, to review its capacity to respond to emergency situations when they arise and define clear procedures to assist government colleagues in such instances.

Improved tools and services: The Telecommunications Committee will continue to ensure that all UN agencies have basic information technology and telecommunications capacity to ensure business continuity in times of emergency. The Committee will also ensure that a local Emergency Response Team will be sufficiently equipped and trained to be rapidly deployed to handle domestic disaster situations.

Improved, and publicly profiled, analysis of global and country humanitarian trends and issues: OCHA supported by technical and logistical assistance from the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, will continue to provide the local humanitarian community with relevant, high quality information management tools and services. These materials will focus on the diversity of natural disasters that challenge development as well as the underlying social and ethnic tensions that have a destabilising effect on PNG's progress.

Greater incorporation of risk reduction objectives into humanitarian strategies: OCHA PNG and the UNDP Pacific Sub-Regional Centre (Fiji) will work with the NDC to ensure that the National Framework for Action is integrated into action plans and budgets of relevant line ministries. It will liaise closely with UN agencies to ensure that disaster management is incorporated into the 2008-2012 UNCP, which is currently being drafted, and that NDC prioritized areas of disaster management are included. Increased and strengthened partnerships for humanitarian action: OCHA PNG will promote the strengthening of the IASC DMT forum and its satellite working groups.

Key Indicators for 2007
  • Development of integrated, multi-sectoral AHI contingency plans at the central and provincial level by end 2007
  • Number of UN staff trained on the updated pandemic contingency plan
  • Establishment of the Emergency IT and Telecommunications Committee and Emergency Response Team by June 2007
  • UN agencies and NDC work together to ensure a multi-sectoral approach is integrated into the National Framework for Action by December 2007
  • Number of disaster management areas prioritised by NDC that are included in the PNG UNCP
 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
1
National
1
Local (GS)
1
UN Volunteers
0
Total
3

Staff costs (US$)
210,883
Non-staff costs (US$)
151,532

Total costs (US$)
362,415



Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka is still recovering from destruction and displacement caused by the December 2004 Tsunami. Recovery efforts have been stymied by long-time animosities fanned by 20 years of civil conflict and renewed fighting which has jeopardized the fragile 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), and threatens to bring the country back to the brink of war. The volatile security and human rights situation has deteriorated consistently since December 2005 with renewed and invigorated violence in the north and east of the country in the second half of 2006.

The fighting – between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – led to significant civilian casualties and new displacement, and triggered multiple localised humanitarian crises. Caseloads of new displacement in areas controlled by state and non-state actors exceeded 200,000 people in September 2006, increasing to more than 750,000 the number displaced by the conflict and the Tsunami.

Protection concerns and human rights violations are the main focus of the humanitarian community in Sri Lanka. Insufficient and irregular access to some areas of northern and north-eastern Sri Lanka continues to be a major challenge, impacting the ability to provide basic humanitarian assistance to the displaced and conflict-affected population. This has also resulted in deteriorating safety and security conditions for humanitarian organisations, as exemplified by the unprecedented killing of 17 national staff from Action against Hunger (ACF) in August 2006, as well as the death or disappearances of several other aid workers during the year.

In 2006, OCHA completed its role as coordinator in the Transition phase of the Tsunami response. As a part of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) OCHA focused mainly on coordinating the response to the complex emergency in the conflict-affected areas of northern and north-eastern Sri Lanka. OCHA facilitated the preparations of a contingency plan as well as the elaboration of a stand-alone CHAP, prepared by the IASC Country Team in response to emerging humanitarian needs. In addition to the existing four field offices, from which OCHA supports the UN regional Focal Points in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara and Kilinochchi, up to two more field stations are to be opened in northern Sri Lanka in 2007. This would further strengthen OCHA's ability to provide coordination services and information products to UN Focal Points, UN Agencies and NGOs, as well as contribute to advocacy efforts to speed response time filling identified gaps in humanitarian assistance.

In 2007 OCHA Colombo will continue to be an integral part of the RC/HC Office in the capital, while its field offices will support the UN Focal Points who represent the RC/HC on the district level. In this respect, OCHA will facilitate RC/HC's leadership of the Humanitarian Partnership Team, comprised of UN Agencies and others within the NGO community. Support will be extended to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights by providing a liaison Assistant to further strengthen collaboration within the humanitarian community.

Against this background, OCHA's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:

Strengthened in-country coordination: OCHA will facilitate greater inclusion of NGOs and ICRC/IFRC in the humanitarian coordination mechanisms both at the Colombo and the field level. To provide better support to the UN Agencies and NGOs operating in the field, OCHA will open two new field offices, i.e. Jaffna and Vavunya in 2007 to also contribute in these affected areas. Furthermore, OCHA will also facilitate the regular interaction of the Humanitarian Partnership Team with the Sri Lankan Government by maintaining a liaison desk at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights.

Tools and services: OCHA will provide the HC/RC, UN Agencies, NGOs and the central and local authorities of Sri Lanka with a wide range of information products, based on inputs from the OCHA field offices, UN Focal Point Agencies and NGOs. Information products prepared by OCHA Sri Lanka will include reports, assessments, analysis of statistical data and maps.

More coherent engagement on humanitarian issues and principles: As a part of the Office of the UN RC/HC in Sri Lanka, OCHA will monitor humanitarian space, including existing humanitarian access arrangements and facilitate restoration of regular, systematized and predictable access for the agencies to all areas requiring humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, OCHA will provide information to the inter-Agency coordination structures, the Sri Lankan Government and other concerned parties about the evolving humanitarian needs in the country and will engage them to identify relevant solutions. Together with UNHCR and other Agencies, OCHA will promote compliance with the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and other humanitarian principles and laws among the local authorities, military, civil groups and NGOs.

Key indicators for 2007
  • Number of NGOs participating in the IASC CT meetings
  • Number of updated information products received by the counterparts at the central and local level
  • OCHA Liaison Desk fully functional in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights by end 2007
  • Degree of satisfaction with tools and services provided by OCHA Information Management Unit (IMU) as reported through surveys
  • Detailed workplan on facilitation of disaster preparedness implemented by IASC CT members led by UNDP and OCHA
 

SRI LANKA

Planned Staffing
Extra Budgetary

Professional
11
National
1
Local (GS)
24
UN Volunteers
0
Total
36

Staff costs (US$)
2,173,930
Non-staff costs (US$)
722,748

Total costs (US$)
2,896,678