OCHA Liaison Offices

African Union Liaison Office

The OCHA African Union Liaison Office (AULO) was created in 2008. It is part of the United Nations 10-Year Capacity-Building Framework with the African Union (AU), which ensures coherence of the United Nations engagement with the AU. OCHA works with three AU Commission (AUC) directorates: Political Affairs, Peace and Security, and Rural Economy and Agriculture. The primary focus has been with the Peace and Security Directorate.

In 2010, OCHA signed a memorandum of understanding with the AUC, based on jointly identified areas of partnership. These areas include policy development and the protection of civilians; emergency response coordination; advocacy and information management; and resource mobilization. A two-year plan is being developed by both parties to guide implementation.

OCHA supports the AUC with expertise in elaborating guidelines for evolving AU processes, structures and normative protection tools. These include the protection of civilians guidelines for the African Standby Force, and the AU Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (the Kampala Convention). Through joint initiatives with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the AUC Peace and Security Department, OCHA also facilitates civil-military coordination training in support of AU peacekeeping operations.

Brussels Liaison Office

The OCHA Brussels Liaison Office was established in 2007 to promote humanitarian policies and strengthen partnerships with regional institutions including the European Union (EU), NATO, and the Secretariat for the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States. It focuses on policy matters such as the protection of civilians, civil-military coordination and disaster preparedness. It also helps OCHA to identify funding opportunities.

In 2011, OCHA will strengthen the working relationship between OCHA and the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to implement agreed frameworks of cooperation. It will regularly brief the United Nations head of agencies Brussels team on relevant humanitarian policy issues. It will also prepare and disseminate a humanitarian information update focused on the analysis of humanitarian trends, and EU- and NATO-related topics.

Dubai Liaison Office

The OCHA Dubai Liaison Office was established in 2009 when the Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia relocated from Dubai to Cairo. The office facilitates staff movement and provides logistics support to OCHA country offices and Humanitarian Support Units in the region. It also maintains and expands partnerships with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In 2011, OCHA will continue raising the profile of humanitarian work with GCC partners through promoting humanitarian issues. It will provide surge capacity support and organize trainings and workshops. The office will also assist in launching humanitarian appeals and promote GCC countries’ engagement in humanitarian action through the Consolidated Appeal Process and the Central Emergency Response Fund.