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The Challenge of Coordinating Humanitarian Action

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1 The Challenge of Coordinating Humanitarian Action
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

2 Humanitarian Assistance
Humanitarian assistance is aid that seeks to save lives and alleviate suffering and maintain humanitarian dignity during and in the aftermath of man-made crises and natural disasters, as well as to strengthen preparedness for the occurrence of such situations... GHD definition. Humanitarian assistance is perceived as being more about saving lives and protecting people than it is about sustained poverty reduction; more about timely responses than capacity development or long-term relationships; more about people than states or institutions. It can get around some of the rules and procedures that apply to development assistance and work in places where dev assist is politically difficult because of human rights abuses or where the state is fragile or non-existent. ODA: flows to developing countries and multilateral institutions provided by official government agencies to promote economic development and welfare. It is concessional in nature, with a grant element of at least 25% HA: Free, within defined timeframe Development: empowering people, longer time-frame, no handouts. The U.S. federal government's aid budget is ~0.2% of its GNI, whereas Sweden's is ~1%.

3 PRINCIPLES FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTION
THE UN CHARTER PRINCIPLES FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTION UN CHARTER ARTICLE 1.3: “ … to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character… UN CHARTER ARTICLE 1.4: … to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations...”

4 A CHANGING CONTEXT IN A CHANGING WORLD
DISASTERS ARE INCREASINGLY COMMON The number of disasters has almost doubled compared to two decades ago. Climate-related disasters account for 70% of all disasters, compared to 50% two decades ago. SOURCE: EM-DAT

5 A CHANGING CONTEXT IN A CHANGING WORLD
CONFLICTS ARE MORE COMMON LOW: Non-violent MEDIUM: At least one side using violent force in sporadic incidents HIGH: Violent force is repeatedly used by both sides in an organized way. SOURCE: HIIK

6 A CHANGING CONTEXT IN A CHANGING WORLD
Increased number of natural hazards provoking natural disasters. Fewer new wars, but more long standing complex conflicts. Fewer refugees, but more internally displaced persons. More actors who are engaging in humanitarian response. Just to have an idea of who all those actors are:

7 HUMANITARIAN PARTNERS
Governments U.N. Agencies and programmes and International Organizations Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) NGOs (international & local) Civil society Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement Peacekeeping missions Donor Governments Private companies and individuals Military

8 WHY DO WE NEED COORDINATION?
To deal with a multiplicity of actors. To work with limited resources. To avoid the politicization of aid. To avoid gaps, duplications, and assure the responsibility of each humanitarian partner.

9 OCHA’S MANDATE 1991: General Assembly Resolution 46/182 created the Emergency Relief Coordinator as the focal point and voice for humanitarian emergencies. The same resolution created the Department for Humanitarian Affairs (became OCHA in 1998), the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

10 Upon request, OCHA assists governments in mobilizing international assistance

11 OCHA’S CORE FUNCTIONS OCHA mobilizes and coordinates effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors. FIVE CORE FUNCTIONS Humanitarian coordination Humanitarian advocacy Policy development Management of humanitarian information Raises funds for emergencies and disasters

12 SNAPSHOT OF OCHA IN 2009 Present in 31 countries, including 6 major operations, mostly in Africa. 2009 budget of US$223 million. Only $12.3 million from UN regular budget. Currently some 1,700 staff members worldwide. About 250 in Geneva. Angola work.

13 HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE REVIEW (2005)
Well-known, long-standing gaps Unpredictable response capacity Weak partnerships Insufficient accountability Inconsistent donor policies Now that I’ve presented OCHA and OCHA’s mandate, I’d like to introduce a few ideas brought up by a large study commissioned in 2005, the HRR. As a result, a new push for humanitarian reform took hold.

14 PILLARS OF HUMANITARIAN REFORM
STRENGTHENING HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE FINANCING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY & PREDICTABAILITY The Humanitarian Reform Agenda aims to dramatically enhance humanitarian response capacity, predictability, accountability and partnership. It is an ambitious effort by the international humanitarian community to reach more beneficiaries, with more comprehensive, needs-based relief and protection, in a more effective and timely manner. The reform packages has four main objectives: Improved humanitarian coordination and leadership. (IASC Principals Meeting of April 2006: approved Action Plan on Strengthening the Humanitarian Coordination System) Adequate, timely and flexible humanitarian financing. (see CERF) Sufficient humanitarian reform capacity and enhanced leadership, accountability and predictability in 9 'gap' sectors/areas or response. (see Cluster Leadership Approach) More effective partnerships between UN and non-UN humanitarian actors. Although all pillars of the reform are quite important for changing the architecture of the humanitarian system, I’d like to first focus on financing. PARTNERSHIPS

15 HUMANITARIAN FINANCING
Three Problems Not enough funding overall to meet worldwide needs Funding is unevenly spread relative to needs Funding is too slow Supply and Demand Supply side and demand side: which instruments are related to which side Common humanitarian action plans and their selected projects (Consolidated and Flash Appeals) aim to organize the demand side. Humanitarian finance reforms, such as pooled funds and the Good Humanitarian Donorship initiative, aim to improve the supply side.

16 UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182:
DEMAND: WHEN IS AN APPEAL TRIGGERED Any crisis or disaster needing a humanitarian response that (a) exceeds the capacity of the affected country government, and (b) exceeds the capacity and/or mandate of any one UN agency UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182: “For emergencies requiring a consolidated response, the Secretary-General should ensure that an initial Consolidated Appeal covering all concerned organisations of the system, prepared in consultation with the affected State, is issued within the shortest possible time…”

17 CONSOLIDATED APPEAL PROCESS (CAP)
CAP brings aid organisations together to: present a strategic approach to humanitarian crises plan, coordinate, implement & monitor response appeal for funds cohesively Each consolidated appeal: presents an action plan & set of projects serves as a road map of required actions & funding needs ensures funds are spent strategically, efficiently & with greater accountability CAPs were established in 1992 (catalyst was the Kurdish refugee crisis), OCHA has the task of managing CAP development. One year

18 FLASH APPEALS What is a Flash Appeal?
A strategic humanitarian response plan A tool for coordination, planning, and programming Outlines priority life-saving needs, within a week of the emergency's onset Contains rapid needs assessment information, a common humanitarian action plan, and specific sectoral response plans and projects Addresses acute needs for up to 6 months ERSMB

19 OVERVIEW OF APPEALS In 2009, there have been 15 Consolidated Appeals in Afghanistan, CAR, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Iraq, Kenya, Nepal, oPt, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa, & Zimbabwe. In 2009, there have been five Flash Appeals in Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Namibia, the Philippines, & Yemen Total requested in 2009: $9.7 billion; received $5.8 billion (approximately 60%). Most appeals are and have been in Africa. For the past three years around 70% of needs have been funded by the end of the year, leaving around 30% of needs unmet. CAPs were established in 1992 (catalyst was the Kurdish refugee crisis), OCHA has the task of managing CAP development. One year

20 CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND (CERF)
CERF is a humanitarian reserve fund launched in 2006 to aid time-critical or life-saving activities: Money used for a rapid response to kick start operations. Money used for under-funded or neglected emergencies. 110 public and private donors have given over US$1.5 billion to date $1.3 billion allocated to almost 1,300 projects in 70 countries Additional pooled funds supported by a number of donors such as the UK, Sweden, Norway have contributed to more predictable financing. Examples are the large Common Humanitarian Funds in DRC and Sudan, and smaller emergency response funds in more than 15 countries.

21 www.reliefweb.int/fts FINANCIAL TRACKING SERVICE (FTS)
On-line database of humanitarian funding needs and contributions Real-time snapshot of contributions to natural disasters and complex emergencies Analytical tables (pre-set or custom) that show humanitarian aid flows to specific crises Tool to improve coordination, resource allocation decisions and advocacy Means to assist in identification of underfunded appeals, crises, sectors, agencies, projects

22 Contributions to international humanitarian assistance
Compares to $15 billion for Still preliminary since final 2008 figures aren’t available until the end of 2009/early 2010. DAC: The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) is a forum for selected member states to discuss issues surrounding aid, development and poverty reduction in developing countries. Top recipients: Sudan, OPT, DRC, Afghanistan, Iraq, lebanon, Ethiopia, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2009 (www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org)

23 STRENGTHENING HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE CAPACITY & PREDICTABAILITY
Partnerships: Global Humanitarian Platform / Principles of Partnership (2007) (equality, transparency, results-oriented approach, responsibility, complementary) Leadership: Humanitarian Coordinator Strengthening Project Capacity and Predictability: Cluster approach and global cluster leads; disaster preparedness FINANCING LEADERSHIP CAPACITY & PREDICTABAILITY The Humanitarian Reform Agenda aims to dramatically enhance humanitarian response capacity, predictability, accountability and partnership. It is an ambitious effort by the international humanitarian community to reach more beneficiaries, with more comprehensive, needs-based relief and protection, in a more effective and timely manner. The reform packages has four main objectives: Adequate, timely and flexible humanitarian financing. (see CERF) Sufficient humanitarian reform capacity and enhanced leadership, accountability and predictability in 9 'gap' sectors/areas or response. (see Cluster Leadership Approach) More effective partnerships between UN and non-UN humanitarian actors. Improved humanitarian coordination and leadership. (IASC Principals Meeting of April 2006: approved Action Plan on Strengthening the Humanitarian Coordination System) PARTNERSHIPS

24 THE CLUSTER APPROACH Clusters strengthen partnerships and responses to humanitarian emergencies by clarifying the division of labor among aid organizations.

25 ON-GOING CHALLENGES Financial crisis: What will happen to humanitarian budgets in 2010? Diversifying funding sources: How can “new” / non-traditional donors and the private sector become more engaged in established financing mechanisms? Risk / resiliency: How can we respond to disasters while simultaneously building national capacity to reduce risk and increase resiliency? Continuum: What are the links between humanitarian assistance and development aid? 1) We don’t know yet. Funding % in relation to needs is similar to 2008 at this time of the year. However, the needs expressed this year in inter-agency appeals are higher, as are the unmet requirements. Believe that 2009 humanitarian budgets were protected because they were decided before the onset of the financial crisis. Indication that humanitarian budgets may also be more insulated or only suffer temporary reductions because they are shorter-term (typically year by year). 2) Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Russian Federation were the four largest non-DAC donors in 2008, contributed more than a billion dollars. There are others to consider, such as the “newer” members of the EU. Private companies do a lot, but we have no way to track it. Often based on interests of organization/ease of assistance. Until we have a more complete pictures, it’s difficult to advocate for more or better targeted assistance. 3) Disaster risk reduction and preparedness for natural disasters is closely linked to humanitarian assistance. If we don’t prepare well, the costs of responding are greater. Yet, how do we encourage donors to fund risk reduction and preparedness, at the same time we ask them to fund emergency response? 4) If the same people move between endemic food insecurity, chronic poverty and periodic crisis, does it make sense to classify our responses into humanitarian and development? If humanitarian assistance is the main source of aid over long periods, does it make sense for it to be treated as separate from policies on poverty reduction? MANY OTHERS: Politization of humanitarian aid; targeting the most needy; increasing cost effectiveness; etc.


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