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OCHA Annual Report 2018: A year of unprecedented needs, record donor generosity and important change

11 Jun 2019


ERC Mark Lowcock talks with children in Al Rabat Collective Centre for displaced people in Lahj Governorate, Yemen. The ERC visited Yemen in November 2018. Credit: OCHA/Ammar Al-Hajj

In 2018, humanitarian needs reached an unprecedented scale. Fortunately, donors responded generously by financing the humanitarian system at record levels. Over 133 million people needed humanitarian assistance in 41 countries. To meet their needs, we asked for US $25 billion. Donors provided more than $15 billion for the UN-coordinated appeals.

“This is a clear sign of the compassion and humanity of our donors and their citizens”, said UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock. “But it also demonstrates the trust in the global humanitarian system, which undoubtedly saves millions of lives every year.”

Launched today, OCHA’s 2018 Annual Report highlights how the organization coordinated responses around the globe to alleviate suffering. The report covers a year when famine was prevented in Yemen. We also mobilized funding and lobbied for improved access to people caught up in protracted crises in places such as the Central African Republic, the Lake Chad Basin, Syria and South Sudan.

Deputy ERC Ursula Mueller talks to Nigerian children at the Minawao refugee camp, Far North, Cameroon. At the time of the visit in February, the camp was receiving 50 new persons every week due to renewed violence by Boko Haram-affiliated armed groups. Credit: OCHA/Eve Sabbagh

The report takes stock of OCHA’s actions and activities during 2018, 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 provides an update on the restructuring process within OCHA, which has helped the organization emerge as a more field-focused and decentralized entity. The change process is rooted in bringing together the best of OCHA to help humanitarian partners save and protect lives.

2018 was also the year when OCHA took decisive steps to tackle the scourge of sexual exploitation and abuse and harassment in the humanitarian system, playing a key role in facilitating agreement in the Inter-agency Standing Committee to strengthen our system-wide investigative capacities; bolster our information-sharing to ensure perpetrators could not move freely from one organization to another; and ensure that victims received the support and protection they need.