coordination activities

Regional Offices

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Regional Office for Central and East Africa (map)

Mounting political and inter-communal tensions continue to fuel instability and insecurity across Central and East Africa. In 2007, armed conflict between the Transitional Federal Government forces and insurgents in Somalia saw the displacement of over 400,000 people, while ongoing military activity in North Kivu led to the displacement of over 370,000. Large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) were recorded in the Central African Republic (CAR), eastern Chad and Darfur (where the IDP population has reached 2.2 million). Ongoing disputes over land ownership have seen the displacement of over 78,000 people in Mt Elgon in Kenya. At the same time, refugee return programmes run by the Government of Uganda and UNHCR facilitated the closure of two of the 40 IDP camps in Uganda’s northern Lango district.

A stalemate persists in the implementation of the Eritrea– Ethiopia border decision, with similar difficulties in the
implementation of the 2006 ceasefire agreement between the Government of Burundi and the Forces for National Liberation. In October, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan suffered a major setback
when the South threatened total withdrawal – citing lack of commitment by Khartoum. Slow progress continues in the
Lord’s Resistance Army/Government of Uganda peace talks in Juba. In 2008, enhanced international engagement will
continue to be required to restore these peace processes and avoid further conflict.

A drastic reduction in humanitarian space in the region was observed in 2007, with humanitarian operations remaining
very limited in Eritrea. Attacks on humanitarian personnel and assets persisted in Somalia and Darfur. The International
Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins sans Frontières were expelled from Ethiopia’s Ogaden region in mid 2007.
Thousands of affected people remain unreachable because of this, leaving them with little access to basic services
including food, health care and water. Protection remains a critical issue, with many thousands of cases of sexual and gender-based violence reported in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and in Chad, CAR and Darfur children separated from their families remain vulnerable to trafficking and child labour. (table)

Climate-related disasters including floods and prolonged drought are expected to continue throughout 2008. Chronic drought conditions prevail in the north-eastern parts of Djibouti due to poor rainy seasons, resulting in high malnutrition rates. The region as a whole features high levels of vulnerability to the threat of diseases such as malaria, cholera, acute watery diarrhoea, measles, meningitis, Ebola, Marburg, avian influenza, Rift Valley Fever and other water-borne and respiratory infections. In view of the potential spillover effects of most emergencies in the region, humanitarian actors will continue to implement measures to ensure cross-border preparedness and planning. (table)

The Regional Office for Central and East Africa (ROCEA)’s reporting on regional humanitarian trends will continue to focus on early warning and risk analysis elements – supporting regional contingency planning processes. The four information products rolled out in 2007 (Humanitarian Newsmaker, Humanitarian Update, the Displaced Peoples’ Report and the Humanitarian Financing Report) will remain the primary advocacy tools produced by ROCEA’s Information Management Unit.

Of the 15 countries within ROCEA’s area of responsibility, 11 have an OCHA field presence. Modelled on the IASC structure, the Regional Humanitarian Partnership Team (RHPT) was introduced to strengthen joint humanitarian action and advocacy in the region. The Emergency Preparedness Response (EPR) framework to address humanitarian situations and mobilize resources will replace the Great Lakes Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) in 2008. ROCEA will work towards consolidating its activities in early recovery – most of which fall under transition activities at the country level. Challenges for 2008 include the establishment of a regional protection working group to ensure a joint inter-agency approach to protection issues in the region.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Inclusivity of coordination bodies strengthened. Partnerships with regional bodies such as the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development strengthened. RHPT established with agreed terms of reference. Number of joint statements on humanitarian situations.

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
EPR framework drafted, with priorities identified and agreed upon. Percentage of countries with new and updated inter-agency contingency plans.

Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues
Outputs Indicators
Improved information products with strengthened analysis. Number of products released reflecting improved analysis.

Protection agenda advanced at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Regional protection strategy developed. Cross-cutting thematic areas (gender,HIV/AIDS, sexual and gender-based violence) incorporated into regional analysis and planning. Number of humanitarian updates produced on protection issues or with protection issues reflected. Percentage of regional documents (EPR, CAPs, Common Humanitarian Action Plans) that incorporate thematic analyses.

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicators
Regional custom map products expanded. Information management tools and services extended to countries without an OCHA presence. Number of custom maps produced. Number of ‘Who does What Where’ and other information management tools provided to United Nations and IASC Country Teams.

Regional Office for Southern Africa (map)

Southern Africa continues to experience a growing caseload of chronically destitute – victims of poverty induced by poor government policies, unchecked levels of HIV/AIDS and increasingly erratic and extreme climatic conditions. In 2007, an unprecedented number of cyclones directly struck or brushed the coastlines of Mozambique and Madagascar, causing extensive wind and flood damage to infrastructure, services and livelihood support systems. Unusually early and heavy rainfall over the Zambezi River Valley combined with the cyclones to worsen the situation in these two countries, while also flooding agricultural land in Namibia and Zambia. Other countries suffered from drought, including Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho, southern Mozambique and Madagascar, and parts of South Africa. As a result, in 2008 more than 7 million people faced acute food insecurity in the region, while millions more continued to suffer from chronic poverty. Around 24.7 million in the region are living with HIV/AIDS. The sheer scale of these needs continues to cripple development. The situation is expected to worsen in 2008 as natural disasters become more frequent – lessening the window of opportunity for households to recover and pushing greater numbers of people into chronic poverty and food insecurity.

In 2008 the Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) will ensure coordinated support to governments and their IASC partners in the form of surge capacity and technical advice on humanitarian needs assessment, protection, humanitarian financing (CERF, flash appeals and consolidated appeals), information management (mapping and data preparedness), public information (advocacy and resource mobilization) and implementation of IASC policies (including the cluster approach). Partners will have the opportunity to address key response and preparedness issues in the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Support Office, a regional group of IASC member organizations, donor and governments convened by ROSA. (table)

ROSA will take a leading role in emergency preparedness in the region by facilitating contingency planning and natural disaster response and preparedness planning. The Office will work with governments to improve early warning systems in the region in collaboration with the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning Consortium, and it will address the risk of a pandemic influenza outbreak by promoting multi-sector contingency planning. The Office will also work closely with the UNDP (table) Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery to jointly fund and support a regional network of Humanitarian and Early Recovery Officers to ensure coordinated and complementary humanitarian and early recovery programming in response to disasters.

In particular, in 2008 ROSA will focus on:

    1. strengthening its emergency preparedness and response capacity to enable it to provide more strategic,
      systematic and measurable support to national governments and partners;
    2. supporting the development of a regional disaster risk reduction strategy; and
    3. working closely with early recovery and development ? partners to ensure humanitarian initiatives are embedded
      in longer-term development and poverty reduction programmes, especially in those countries in which OCHA is
      not present.

In recognition of the importance of information management in the region, throughout 2008 OCHA will strengthen ROSA’s information management capacities by integrating resources from the website portal of the Southern Africa Human Development Information Management Network, SAHIMS.NET.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
Region-wide hazard analysis and inventory of country-level preparedness undertaken. inter-agency agreement reached on road map for applying minimum package of preparedness measures. Regional Data Preparedness Plan for disaster response developed. Analysis, Inventory and road map completed by target dates, with timeline and targets for sub-activities. Plan completed by target date.

A strategy enabling seamless transition and early recovery
Outputs Indicators
Joint OCHA/UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery support provided to Resident Coordinators in the region. Humanitarian considerations incorporated into transition strategy papers and disaster management platforms. Percentage of staff in new emergencies seconded to RC’s offices cost-shared and with joint functions. Percentage of new United Nations Disaster Assessment Frameworks, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and disaster management platforms including a humanitarian component.

Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues
Outputs Indicators
Regional information strategy clarified and updated according to new arrangements. Review of inter-agency information management needs and strategy completed by target date with timeline for implementation to address external and internal needs.

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Regional Humanitarian Community Partnership Team (HCPT) established. Regional strategy for systematic and continuous training on humanitarian reform established, especially for cluster leads. Terms of reference for HCPT approved by target date. Strategy established by target date, with timeline and targets for sub-activities.

Protection agenda advanced at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Responders and governments trained on the protection of civilians and the human rights of IDPs in natural disasters. Number and diversity of staff and government representatives trained by target date. Percentage of humanitarian/emergency response plans addressing the human rights of IDPs in natural disasters. Number of requests addressing human rights in IDP and protection of civilians issues.

Regional Office for West Africa (map)

While prospects for the return of lasting peace have never been greater in the West Africa region since the signing of the Ouagadougou Political Agreement in Côte d’Ivoire, challenges remain. There has been a rise in low-intensity security incidents between insurgent groups in southern Nigeria, northern Mali and Niger, including the laying of anti-vehicle mines in Niger and reduced humanitarian access, as well as increased threats to the protection of civilians and risks to food security, particularly among pastoralist groups. Recent flooding has had a profound impact on the livelihoods of around 800,000 rural residents in 13 of the 15 countries covered by the Regional Office for West Africa (ROWA).

New threats to human security are also emerging, such as narcotics smuggling along coastal West Africa, attributable to prolonged social problems such as the deterioration of livelihoods in countries including Guinea Conakry and Guinea Bissau. Illegal human trafficking across the Sahara or the Atlantic to southern Europe is also producing more visible humanitarian consequences, such as groups of undocumented migrants stranded in inhospitable locations in the region.

The consolidation of peace and a more conducive environment for humanitarian progress will depend heavily on: the evolution of the socio-political situation in Guinea following the violent upsurge of early 2007; the success of post-conflict transitions in Liberia and Guinea Bissau; the reduction of vulnerability related to acute food and nutrition crises in the Sahel countries; and the capacity of governments, communities and international partners to closely monitor the threat of avian and human influenza and curtail the spread of the disease. (table)

In response to the prevailing circumstances in the West Africa region – chronic poverty, fragility of states and low resilience of communities – ROWA will ensure that the mitigation of natural disasters and conflicts is covered by contingency planning conducted by governments, United Nations Agencies and NGOs. It will seek to reinforce the existing regional humanitarian coalition by providing principled and effective leadership, strategic advice, operational coordination and resource mobilization through National Disaster Response Advisers in Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Mali in addition to OCHA offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Niger. OCHA will also maintain a presence in Ghana for six months to follow up on residual humanitarian coordination needs following floods in 2007. Of particular note, ROWA will support the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) in convening a regional meeting on lessons learned from post-floods management. (table)

ROWA will also build on the capacity developed by its Information Management Unit over the last four years to document and monitor how the combination of hazards and risks (such as natural disasters, environmental degradation and slow-onset crises) lead to a range of social, political, geographic and economic tensions that interact to produce complex and entrenched vulnerabilities. This data collection and information management is made possible through collaboration between ROWA’s Information Management Unit and other organizations such as the Groupe Urgence, Réhabilitation et Développement and members of the Integrated Humanitarian Phase Classification which have set up an Observatory on Vulnerability initially focusing on the food security situation in the Sahel region.

Poverty reduction will be at the forefront of the Regional Office’s humanitarian advocacy approach – aiming to promote shared responsibility among development and humanitarian actors in the alleviation of human suffering.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Predictability, accountability and partnership in each sector improved. number of countries in which sectoral groups and clusters are established.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Assistance provided to the Economic Community of West African States in establishing resources for storage of humanitarian supplies. Depot established in Mali.

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
Improved management of post-disaster situations. Disaster risk approach adopted by Heads of West African States in January 2007 streamlined into forthcoming development programmes. Regional meeting on lessons learned from post-floods management hosted by UNDAF with OCHA’s support. Disaster risk approach rolled out in ROWA’s nine selected countries in 2008.

A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation
Outputs Indicators
Information management tools developed to meet the needs of West Africa (such as the Observatory on Vulnerability and an integrated Phase Classification). Number of governments and organizations using the tools.

Protection agenda advanced at the country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Gender and protection integrated into preparedness plans by countries in the region. Percentage of countries with integrated preparedness plans.

Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia (map)

The region for which the Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia is responsible features humanitarian concerns which are as diverse as the political, socio-economic, cultural, geophysical and institutional characteristics of its 21 countries and territories.

There are a number of complex, protracted conflict situations in the region, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, the occupied Palestinian territory and Lebanon. As is often the case, these conflict situations do not unfold in isolation and, in most cases, they have regional ramifications. The prevailing political and security conditions in these countries and territories indicate that a further deterioration of security and humanitarian conditions is likely. (table)

Conflicts and complex emergencies in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia have in recent years resulted in massive population displacements. There are an estimated 2.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region (the highest concentrations in Iraq and Afghanistan) and more than 9.3 million refugees primarily from the occupied Palestinian territory, Iraq, Afghanistan and Western Sahara. Other consequences of the conflict situations are: deterioration in the provision of basic social services; lack of protection for civilian populations; increased violence against civilians; violations of human rights and international humanitarian law; and the presence of land mines and unexploded ordnance. (table)

The countries in the region are prone to natural and man-made disasters, including earthquakes, floods, landslides, cyclones, industrial accidents and oil spills.

Regional Disaster Response Advisers, Central Asia

Central Asia is one of the most seismically active areas in the world, and floods, landslides, extreme cold and drought regularly cause vast economic and environmental damage. Uneven development has increased the vulnerability of some communities to these hazards, and this is compounded by the potential implications of regional socio-political instability. National capacity to respond to disasters varies by country. Despite this, it is well understood that national governments will lead the response to large-scale disasters, aided by strong Red Crescent Societies. Coordination with the international community is well established in some countries (for example in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan), but it requires improvement in others. In addition, the threat of a large-scale event affecting several Central Asian countries at once has led to renewed interest in regional cooperation on disaster management.

Given the need to strengthen disaster preparedness, and the existing momentum for regional cooperation, OCHA established a Regional Disaster Response Adviser (RDRA) office for Central Asia in 2007. The office covers the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

The strategic priorities for the RDRA office in 2008 are:

    1. Improved coordination structures: The concept of Humanitarian Partnership Teams will be introduced, supported by training in humanitarian policies, structures and management arrangements. Humanitarian Partnership Teams will be assisted in developing and testing contingency plans. The RDRA will advocate for the incorporation of risk reduction activities into longer-term development plans and will help to integrate pandemic preparedness into overall disaster management planning. A high-level ministerial meeting will be organized to promote stronger, action-oriented regional cooperation.
    2. Needs analysis framework: The RDRA will ensure that baseline information on a number of indicators is collated within a coordinated and standardized needs analysis framework, against which the impact of disasters can be measured. On the basis of this, the RDRA’s office will produce a quarterly early warning and trend analysis report.
    3. Information management portal: A website will be developed and maintained on which a number of information management products will be hosted, including baseline information, a contact database, a ‘Who Does What Where’ database, maps, an events calendar and a document centre.
    4. Protection strategy: In light of the political and social insecurities in the region, as well as potential population movements as a result of natural disasters, the RDRA will develop a protection strategy for the region as part of proposed contingency planning efforts. This will be accompanied by an advocacy strategy to help promote humanitarian principles in natural and man-made disasters.

In addition, slow-onset natural disasters (drought, desertification and locust infestation) threaten certain parts of the region. Other threats include the effects of climate change, avian influenza and the potential for a human influenza pandemic. The impact of such disasters on increasingly densely populated areas can be enormous and they present serious humanitarian challenges to governments and other stakeholders in the region.

A particular challenge that OCHA will face in 2008 in the Middle East is strengthening cooperation and partnerships with Arab and Muslim States and encouraging their participation in multilateral humanitarian assistance mechanisms. In doing this, OCHA needs to communicate better the United Nations’ role in humanitarian affairs. The United Nations must increase efforts towards building confidence, opening up coordination mechanisms and promoting planning and preparedness within the region – as well as becoming more aware of the operational methods and viewpoints of its Middle Eastern partners.

Through continued partnerships with national authorities, United Nations Agencies, international organizations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, NGOs and academia, the aims of the Regional Office in 2008 will be to:

    1. assist United Nations and government partners in preparing for and responding to crises including pandemic
      influenza;
    2. enhance international humanitarian assistance by fostering closer cooperation and dialogue with government responders from the region; and
    3. improve linkages with non-state actors in the region such as Red Crescent Societies, Islamic charities and
      regional NGOs.

The OCHA Regional Office will support an OCHA presence in Iran, as well as the Regional Disaster Response Adviser for Central Asia (based in Almaty) and the Regional Pandemic Influenza Contingency hub for the Middle East and North Africa (based in Cairo). There will also be a Pandemic Influenza Contingency Officer (based in Geneva) covering Central Asia and southern Europe.

OCHA in Afghanistan

In view of the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan – increasing insecurity, diminishing humanitarian access, protection of civilians concerns and new displacements – OCHA has strengthened its support to the Humanitarian Affairs Unit (HAU) within the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The HAU is staffed with 20 Humanitarian Affairs and Civil–Military Coordination Officers in Kabul and the provinces. Significant advances have already been made in humanitarian coordination with OCHA’s support: an IASC Country Team has been established and a Protection of Civilians workshop was held, in addition to workshops on humanitarian reform and information management. Throughout 2008 OCHA will maintain its support to the HAU in its work on inter-agency humanitarian coordination among the United Nations, the humanitarian community and Afghan state institutions in both complex emergencies and natural disasters. The key tasks of the HAU include civil–military coordination and analysis of the evolving humanitarian situation.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
United Nations Agencies and national counterparts in the region given more predictable and standardized support, including coordination support for ongoing refugee crises. Number of prioritized (vulnerable) countries provided with systematic support, through contingency planning workshops, capacity-building exercises, resource mobilization assistance (consolidated and flash appeals) and surge deployments.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Internal standard operating procedures for the Regional Office’s emergency response maintained. Monitoring and scanning system further improved. New emergencies responded to in a standardized manner within 24 hours.

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
Greater engagement of actors in the countries and territories of the region, with international response systems enhanced. Number of regional United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and International Search and Rescue Group (INSARAG) memberships. Number of OCHA-facilitated training events (UNDAC, INSARAG, civil–military coordination) attended by regional partners.

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicators
Information management system developed, including information concerning ongoing refugee crises in the region. Website established and regional humanitarian database initiated.

More strategic advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues
Outputs Indicators
Advocacy and public information efforts in the region amplified. Number of interviews given. Number of press releases and publications disseminated. Media encounters for other field offices facilitated.

Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (map)

The Asia-Pacific region is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, including recurrent, sudden-onset and gradual-onset threats. These events are becoming increasingly frequent and severe, worsened considerably by the effects of climate change and growing population density. The region is also vulnerable to avian influenza outbreaks and the emergence of a human pandemic is a pressing issue. The serious humanitarian consequences of existing and evolving complex emergencies and protection issues in the region are of great concern to the humanitarian community.

The OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) covers 37 countries and 16 territories. The Office reinforces response and preparedness activities in the region and supports ongoing humanitarian action undertaken by governments, IASC Country Teams and other stakeholders.

The Regional Office is based in Thailand, with oversight for the office of the Regional Disaster Response Adviser for the Pacific in Fiji, National Disaster Response Advisers in Pakistan and the Philippines, and OCHA’s presence in Papua New Guinea. ROAP provides technical support and surge capacity to OCHA field offices in Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste, as well as in the many countries in the region in which OCHA does not have a presence. (table)

ROAP has developed a robust emergency response capacity, with many recent surge deployments made in response to requests from national governments and United Nations Resident Coordinators/Humanitarian Coordinators (RCs/HCs). Assistance is provided with humanitarian coordination and in technical areas including humanitarian financing (CERF, flash appeals and consolidated appeals), information management (mapping and data preparedness), public information (advocacy and resource mobilization) and civil–military coordination. (table)

Regional and National Disaster Response Advisers

The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific includes two Regional Disaster Response Advisers (RDRAs) for Asia based in Thailand. The Office also provides oversight for National Disaster Response Advisers (NDRAs) based in Pakistan and the Philippines. RDRAs and NDRAs provide assistance to IASC Country Teams and national disaster management organizations with disaster preparedness and response, and they facilitate preparedness activities including coordination, contingency planning and capacity building. Disaster response is actively strengthened through linkages with response tools such as the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group and partnerships at the national, regional and global levels. RDRAs and NDRAs also take a leading role in the coordination and leadership of UNDAC preparedness and response missions in the region.

ROAP also oversees the office of the RDRA for the Pacific, based in Fiji. Pacific island countries are uniquely vulnerable to natural hazard threats, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods and rising sea levels. The geographic spread and isolation of small island nations make early warning and disaster response a challenge, while increased political and social tension adds to the concern. Key priorities for the RDRA for the Pacific in 2008 include supporting contingency planning, establishing closer links with NGOs in the region and building the capacity of national disaster management agencies. OCHA will participate in the updating and testing of national disaster plans as well as training activities coordinated through the Pacific Emergency Management Training Advisory Group. Risk reduction will be supported through the Pacific Disaster Risk Management Partnership Network and the Pacific Disaster Database will be further developed as an information tool for disaster managers in the region.

ROAP takes a leading role in emergency preparedness by facilitating contingency planning, natural disaster response preparedness planning and United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) preparedness missions. In 2008, the Office will continue to work with governments and communities to improve early warning systems in the region in collaboration with the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning Consortium, and it will address the risk of a pandemic influenza outbreak by promoting multi-sector contingency planning.

A regional group of IASC member organizations, the IASC Regional Humanitarian Network, was established in 2007 to ensure coordinated support for IASC Country Teams, RCs/HCs and governments, and to address key response and preparedness issues. ROAP undertakes joint activities with Network members, including: inter-agency support for contingency planning; channelling of support from global cluster lead agencies; workshops and trainings; and mainstreaming of strengthened IASC response components (including the cluster approach and CERF).

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Support provided to RCs/HCs, IASC country teams and the IASC Regional Humanitarian Network. Percentage of requests for assistance from RCs/HCs and IASC country teams fulfilled. Percentage of humanitarian coordination structures supported. Number of IASC network sub-groups functioning.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Routines and training procedures for deployment of ROAP emergency response and surge capacity strengthened. Percentage of requests for deployment of ROAP emergency response capacity addressed within 72 hours. Percentage of ROAP staff provided with emergency response training.

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
Assistance provided to governments with developing national disaster management and preparedness plans and to IASC Country Teams with integrated, multi-hazard contingency planning. Number of priority countries provided with assistance in developing and/or revising national strategic plans. Number of IASC contingency plans developed and/or revised in priority countries with OCHA support.

Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues
Outputs Indicators
Monitoring and analysis of humanitarian conditions undertaken in priority countries. information products (situation reports, briefings and maps) developed and disseminated. All ongoing medium and large-scale emergencies covered by ROAP information products.

More strategic advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues
Outputs Indicators
Advocacy strategies developed for core humanitarian policy issues in the Asia-Pacific region, with briefings, trainings and workshops provided to IASC Country Teams, NGOs, regional cluster leads and governments on key policy elements. Number of IASC country teams with advocacy strategies. Percentage of organizations provided with briefings, trainings and workshops.

Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (map)

Covering an area of more than 20 million square kilometres, and home to 576 million people, Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of contrasts: high violence rates but no war; highly urbanized population centres and a rural population of significant humanitarian concern; fertile land and steady economic growth but great economic inequality. Despite over 20 years of democratic government, profound inequality and poverty persist – leading to major political shifts in the region since 2006 and ongoing political change (including several countries engaged in constitutional reform).

In addition, the region is highly prone to natural disasters. In 2007, there were two category 5 hurricanes in Nicaragua and Honduras, major flooding in Mexico and the Dominican Republic and a massive earthquake in Peru. These increasingly regular events will continue to erode the already strained coping mechanisms of the several million people affected annually by the deadly hurricane season. The frequency of natural disasters appears to be on the rise, while prolonged normal rains have the potential to have an insidious but devastating effect. At the same time, the many humanitarian actors engaged at different levels, in various capacities and in accordance with different mandates are generating greater complexity in emergency coordination. (table)

OCHA’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) will continue to work towards strengthening both the national United Nations system (the United Nations Disaster Management Team [UNDMT] and the United Nations Emergency Technical Team [UNETE]) as well as its own capacity. In improving regional capacity in terms of response, it is likely that OCHA will experience increased external expectations and demands for its engagement in training, response, coordination and information management. OCHA has deployed capacity to Peru to allow for the continuation of OCHA and UNDAC response efforts following the August earthquake. (table)

Recent disasters have demonstrated that in 2008 there will be a continued need for close advisory support to United Nations and IASC Country Teams, Resident Coordinators and governments, both prior and during emergencies. In addition, increased coordination with other non-governmental partners remains necessary. Ongoing coordination difficulties – while mitigated by the collective efforts of the Regional Risk, Emergency and Disaster Inter-Agency Taskforce for Latin America and the Caribbean (REDLAC) – and the frequent lack of a clear humanitarian vision and experience, remain a complex reality that ROLAC aims to address. In this context, OCHA will strengthen its regional and sub-regional presence in 2008 through a network of National Disaster Response Advisers in Bolivia, Peru and the Caribbean in addition to its existing offices in Guatemala, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Two additional Regional Disaster Response Advisers will also be deployed to strengthen response in Central America and the Andean region. These improvements will allow for timely deployment in crisis-affected countries and the provision of adequate support to the United Nations system and national authorities, including the application of new models of coordination, financing and partnerships.

Recognizing the potential humanitarian consequences of a sudden, high-mortality pandemic, the Pandemic Influenza Contingency Officer located in ROLAC will build on regional networks and tools to increase preparedness to meet humanitarian needs in the event of a pandemic. ROLAC will also continue to reinforce effective information management in the region through promotion of the humanitarian information sharing network RedHum and the network’s extension to South America and the Caribbean.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicator
Appropriate support and services provided to Humanitarian Coordinators/ Resident Coordinators, UNETE/UNDMT and humanitarian partners. Number of people trained.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicator
Regional and national rosters, standard operating procedures and surge capacity funds for coordination mechanisms and immediate deployment developed. Number of staff and consultants ready to be deployed.

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicator
RedHum (Red Humanitaria) support to emergency preparedness response enhanced. Number of service providers.

A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation
Outputs Indicator
Common indicators and rapid needs assessment methodology promoted at regional and field levels. Number of countries trained in common rapid needs assessment methodology.

A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation
Outputs Indicator
Regional emergency preparedness, response and coordination mechanisms and activities strengthened in collaboration with REDLAC. Number of joint activities undertaken with REDLAC.