INTRODUCTION AND
FINANCIAL POSITION

Introduction and Financial Position

OCHA’s 2008 requirements for the implementation of all activities at headquarters and in the field are US$ 213 million. OCHA expects to finance these requirements in the following manner: US$ 13.8 million from the Regular Budget (just over 6 per cent of requirements) and US$ 18 million generated through programme support costs – leaving total extrabudgetary funding requirements of US$ 181 million.

The total extrabudgetary requirements for headquarters are US$ 80 million. Field activities require US$ 119 million, which includes US$ 11 million for IRIN, US$ 83 million for field offices and US$ 25 million for regional offices (including pandemic influenza contingency projects at the regional level).

OCHA in 2008 presents narrative and financial details for the activities and projects undertaken by headquarters
entities and regional and field offices. For headquarters, consolidated financial tables are presented at the branch
level. For field and regional offices, financial tables and total requirements accompany each entry.

A detailed table in Annex I provides a breakdown of all requirements for headquarters and the field. This provides a comprehensive and transparent account of: funds received from the United Nations Regular Budget that can be used
for headquarters core activities; income generated from the Special Account for Programme Support in the previous
fiscal year that can be used for administrative activities only; and funds requested from donors for activities and
projects to be undertaken in 2008 by headquarters and in the field.

The increased requirements in 2008 reflect a mixture of strategic new programmes, rising needs in complex emergencies, the inclusion of projects not previously part of OCHA’s annual appeal to donors, increases in staff costs (due to inflation and the decreased value of the US dollar), and greater security costs. In 2008 OCHA major priorities include: reform of its information management system (including upgraded information and communications technology for field offices); strengthening the humanitarian coordination system through accelerated reform implementation; improved needs assessment and classification of emergencies; and strengthening monitoring and evaluation in collaboration with OCHA’s humanitarian partners. In the field, the upgrading of capacity of OCHA’s regional offices to reinforce their regional monitoring role and to ensure they are able to meet the demands of significant new natural disasters is almost complete.

OCHA continues to be involved in large-scale emergencies in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while rapidly escalating needs in the Central African Republic and Chad are reflected in OCHA in 2008. Iraq is another major area of expansion for OCHA, while conflict in the Somali region of Ethiopia and higher costs of operation in Somalia itself pose new challenges. On a more positive note, the Burundi, Timor-Leste, Nepal and Eritrea offices are scheduled to scale down, while a review of Côte d’Ivoire is hoped to result in a transition to recovery and development during 2008.

On the financial side, OCHA’s overall position continues to show gradual improvement. The Budgetary Cash Reserve Fund (BCRF), established at the end of 2005 to allow OCHA to issue advances at year end to meet shortfalls in covering the mandatory three-month operating costs and 12-month salaries for all eligible field staff, had reached US$ 11.4 million by the end of 2006. This made it possible for the first time in many years to cover at least six months of field staff costs and three months of operating costs for 2007. At the time of writing OCHA in 2008, another US$ 5 million had been made available, bringing the BCRF balance to US$ 16.4 million. This is again being used to allow for a smooth transition into 2008.

As in previous years, we expect a significant amount of resources to appear in our opening balances when the books are closed for 2007. Most of these resources are earmarked for specific countries and activities. It is essential for cash flow purposes, in addition to the BCRF, that OCHA has access to these resources to help it function for the first part of 2008. But in the course of 2008 we will also be looking at whether some of these balances could be used to offset future requirements.

In addition to these cash flow aids, as most of OCHA’s expenditures relate to staff costs, the efficient planning and management of its resources would be still further assisted if at least 75 per cent of annual contributions were transferred in the first six months of the year. Among a number of donors, the trend in recent years has already been to provide a summary of their annual funding intentions and transfer all or a considerable portion of these funds early in the fiscal year. OCHA hopes that this will continue in order to avoid delays or interruptions in the implementation of activities funded from extrabudgetary sources.

OCHA gratefully acknowledges the generous support donors have recently provided in financial terms as well as in special contributions to help make operations more predictable and flexible.

 
Headquarters
Field
Total
Budget Requirements for 2008 (US$)
Extrabudgetary
 
Regular Budget
Core
Project
Executive Management
5,014,740
20,151,671
2,427,517
27,593,928
Emergency Response Coordination
6,586,198
20,599,669
12,078,705
39,264,572
Policy Development
853,604
6,134,079
2,557,848
9,545,531
Advocacy and Information Management
1,356,516
10,015,738
6,274,269
17,646,523
Integrated Regional Information Networks
646,247
10,335,996
10,982,243
Regional Offices
25,311,265
25,311,265
Field Offices
82,754,864
82,754,864
Total Requirements for Headquarters and Field
13,811,058
57,547,404
23,338,339
118,402,125
213,098,926
Total Extrabudgetary Requirements for Headquarters and Field
199,287,868
Programme Support Income
(18,000,000)
Net Extrabudgetary Funds Requested for Headquarters and Field
181,287,868

 

Staffing for 2008
International
National/
General Service
Total
Headquarters Staff Funded from Regular Budget
52
17
69
Headquarters Extrabudgetary Core Staff
136
125
261
Headquarters Extrabudgetary Project Staff
54
15
69
Field Office Staff
283
844
1,127
IRIN Staff
15
44
59
Total
540
1,045
1,585

OCHA Strategic Framework 2008

GOAL 1 A better coordinated, more equitably supported international humanitarian response system
Objectives Indicators
A predictable and needs-based humanitarian financing system Average number of working days between final submission of eligible CERF request and project’s approval by Emergency Relief Coordinator
Percentage of Consolidated Appeals Process funding received
Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international
levels
Percentage of countries in ongoing emergencies that begin using the
cluster approach
Percentage of Humanitarian Coordinators with an established compact
with the Emergency Relief Coordinator
Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity Implementation and review of OCHA Duty System, Emergency Response
Roster and equipment reserve
Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and
strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Number of programmes for national-level disaster risk reduction capacity
development initiated jointly with the UND P Bureau for Crisis Prevention
and Recovery and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
A strategy enabling seamless transition and early recovery Percentage of OCHA field offices scheduled for phase out with handover
plans

 

GOAL 2 Recognized OCHA leading role in humanitarian policy, advocacy and information management
Objectives Indicators
Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues Number of public strategic papers on policy and country issues
More strategic advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues Number of country- or regional-level advocacy strategies
A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation Percentage of global clusters that agree to a common approach to needs/ situation analysis
Number of countries in which a common humanitarian classification
system is piloted
Protection agenda advanced at country, regional and international levels Number of countries with protection strategies
Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices Number of branches at headquarters and number of regional/field offices that have adopted Information Management Review-initiated standards
and practices

 

GOAL 3 An effectively managed and responsive organization
Objectives Indicators
Improved management practices for ‘one OCHA ’ Percentage of objectives from OCHA Strategic Framework with defined
strategies
Application of better financial management tools Number of country- or regional-level advocacy strategiesFrequency of management reports provided to headquarters and regional/
field offices
Accountable and transparent human resources planning and management Average number of days between identification of vacancy and filling of
post
Number of OCHA staff members from under-represented countries
Competent management cadre effectively leading teams and accountable
for results
Percentage of Performance Appraisal System reports completed in
accordance with the established deadlines

OCHA Functional Diagram