The coordination structure for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Somalia consists of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), the Inter-Cluster Working Group and zonal/regional coordination structures (see diagram below). Coordination takes place through formal and informal information exchange, often involving local authorities, at bilateral and multilateral levels.
Humanitarian Country Team
The HC leads the HCT, which has 14 members. It comprises the HC, who chairs the HCT meetings, seven UN agencies, four international NGOs, two Somali NGOs and the NGO consortium, which represents a large number of national and international NGOs.
The 2009 “IASC Guidance for Humanitarian Country Teams” stipulates that the HCT, under the HC’s leadership, forms a “centrepiece of the new humanitarian coordination architecture established by the Humanitarian Reform in 2005”. In April 2006, the IASC Principals endorsed the action plan on “Strengthening the Humanitarian Coordination System”. This stated, inter alia, that all RCs/HCs must have “broad-based country teams developed”.
The purpose of humanitarian assistance is to “alleviate human suffering and protect the lives, livelihoods and dignity of people in need.” To achieve this goal, the HCT’s objective is to ensure that the activities of organizations undertaking in-country humanitarian action are “coordinated, principled, timely, effective, efficient and contribute to longer-term recovery”.
"The host state retains the primary role in the initiation, organisation, coordination and implementation of humanitarian assistance within its territory" (General Assembly resolution 46/182). Whenever possible, the HCT operates in support of and in coordination with national and local authorities.