Launched today, OCHA’s Annual Report highlights how OCHA coordinates response around the globe to alleviate suffering. The report takes stock of OCHA’s actions and activities during 2017, highlighting the role of OCHA, Member States, and other United Nations and civil-society partners in ensuring that the most vulnerable people in crises received timely and quality humanitarian assistance.
The report also outlines the restructuring process within OCHA, which has helped the organization to refocus on its core mandate by doing less, but doing it better. The change process is rooted in bringing together the best of OCHA to help humanitarian partners save and protect lives.
At the beginning of 2017, more than 128 million people needed humanitarian assistance in 33 countries. By the end of the year, that number had risen to 141 million. This was due to protracted complex crises, escalating conflict in several countries, climate change-induced vulnerability and a series of natural disasters.
OCHA appealed for US$22.2 billion — the largest humanitarian appeal ever launched — and it stepped up to the challenge, helping to provide for the vulnerable and protect them in the face of famine, disease, hurricanes, conflicts and other disasters.
In 2017, the humanitarian aid system dealt with four Level 3 emergencies (DRC, Iraq, Syria and Yemen) and four corporate emergencies (Rohingya crisis, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Somalia).
In response to the United Nations Secretary-General’s urgent call to action to respond to and prevent famine in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, OCHA’s and partners’ efforts - with strong support from generous donors - helped avert famine that threatened 20 million people in these four countries.
OCHA mobilized funding, including record amounts through both the pooled funds it manages – Country-based Pooled Funds and Central Emergency Response Fund - and lobbied for improved access to people caught up in protracted crises in countries such as the Central African Republic, the Lake Chad Basin, Syria and Yemen.