OCHA in Middle East and North Africa

About us

The OCHA Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (ROMENA) is based in Cairo, Egypt, and covers 22 countries in the region.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is highly susceptible to natural and man-made disasters. Many countries experience earthquakes, floods and drought, there are multiple outbreaks of violent conflict and social unrest, and forced displacement is common in the region.

Despite significant Government capacity and a diverse network of regional humanitarian actors, these humanitarian emergencies often overwhelm the affected Governments, paving the way for the international community to assist. Climate change, global food and energy price spikes, and national and sectarian tensions are additional risks that affect vulnerable communities.

OCHA improves countries’ preparedness levels through early warning and contingency planning, ensuring the inclusion of all relevant key partners. OCHA makes sure that Governments, civil society and international actors are well prepared so that when faced with slow- or sudden-onset emergencies, the humanitarian community joins efforts to assist affected people.

In slow- or sudden-onset disasters or crises, OCHA provides specialized support to country offices and partners within its areas of expertise, including surge teams, emergency response coordination, information management, advocacy and resource mobilization.

In 2013 and 2014, ROMENA will focus on the following priority areas:

Preparedness, early warning and contingency planning

  • Enhance capacity to analyse vulnerability and evaluate risk factors in the region.

  • Promote inter-agency action, foster strong partnerships and raise awareness of disaster preparedness.

  • Support capacity-building, disaster preparedness and emergency response among humanitarian actors and with Governments in the most vulnerable countries.


Supporting emergency response

  • Ensure the first line of response through immediate surge to slow- and sudden-onset disasters in the region.

  • Provide specialized support to OCHA country offices, humanitarian country teams, UN Resident Coordinators and UN country teams in areas of OCHA expertise, such as the Consolidated Appeal Process, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), humanitarian advocacy and contingency planning.


Developing regional coordination networks

  • Enhance a regional coordinated approach in collaboration with humanitarian actors, regional organizations and Member States.

  • Develop consistent, long-term strategies towards partnerships in the region involving key intergovernmental organizations, emerging donors and Member States.

  • With humanitarian partners in the region, promote humanitarian principles, improve humanitarian access and increase Member States’ participation in humanitarian response.