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OCHA mobilizes humanitarian assistance for people in need, and it delivers its mandate through five core functions:

OCHA is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. The aim is to assist people when they most need relief or protection. A key pillar of the OCHA mandate is to “coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors”.

OCHA works with humanitarian partners around the world to make aid more effective, efficient and predictable. OCHA also manages two types of pooled funds: Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) and the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). CBPFs allow donors to pool their contributions to cover crises in specific countries and can fund the relief activities of a broad range of partners, including national and international NGOs. CERF receives voluntary contributions year-round into a single global fund to provide immediate funding to UN agencies for life-saving humanitarian action anywhere in the world.

Policy development is defined as one of OCHA’s core functions. It aims to support effective and principled humanitarian action, saving lives and reducing suffering. It also underpins the role of the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator as principal advisor to the Secretary-General on humanitarian issues.

OCHA has a unique mandate to speak out on behalf of the people worst affected by humanitarian situations. As the organization tasked with coordinating international humanitarian response, our ultimate goal is to save more lives and reduce the impact of conflicts and natural disasters. Whether we’re mobilizing relief money after a massive earthquake, ensuring vulnerable communities are protected, or raising awareness of forgotten crises, it’s our job to keep world attention focused on humanitarian issues.

Managing information during a humanitarian emergency is a crucial part of any operation. The humanitarian community recognizes the importance of gathering reliable data on the locations of people in need, what they urgently need, who is best placed to assist them, and the value of this information for effective and timely humanitarian assistance.

The Humanitarian Programme Cycle: How we manage humanitarian response

The humanitarian programme cycle (HPC) is a coordinated series of actions undertaken to help prepare for, manage and deliver humanitarian response. It consists of five elements coordinated in a seamless manner, with one step logically building on the previous and leading to the next.

Successful implementation of the humanitarian programme cycle is dependent on effective emergency preparedness, effective coordination with national/local authorities and humanitarian actors, and information management.

Core HPC elements
Needs assessment and analysis
Strategic response planning
Resource mobilization
Implementation and monitoring
Operational review and evaluation