United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Bureau de la coordination des affaires humanitaires (BCAH)

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Apr 1992, New York NY (USA), by the Secretary-General of United Nations (UN), as United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), pursuant to resolution 46/182, Dec 1991, of the UN General Assembly, when post of Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) was established. Reorganized under current title, 1998, in accordance with reform plan of the UN Secretary-General. Previously also referred to as Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors so as to: coordinate the response to complex humanitarian emergencies and sudden natural and technological disasters; advocate for the rights of people in need; promote preparedness and prevention, in particular by reducing vulnerability; facilitate the smooth and sustainable transition from relief to rehabilitation and development.

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Core functions (3):

1. 'Coordination of Humanitarian Emergency Response' - through approved structures and policies set out by IASC, OCHA carries out its coordination role by: developing common strategies with its UN and non-UN humanitarian partners for the delivery of humanitarian assistance; assessing situations and needs; convening coordination forums; mobilizing resources, including through the consolidated appeals process; addressing common problems; administering coordination mechanisms and tools, including international rapid response capacities. These mechanisms and tools include: IASC; ECHA; United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordinations Teams (UNDAC); International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG); On-Site Operations Coordination Centres (OSOCC); Geographic Information Support Team (GIST). Also seeks to ensure more efficient use of military and civil defence assets in humanitarian operations by facilitating the relationship between the humanitarian and military components of a relief operation.

2. 'Humanitarian Policy Development' - in close cooperation with IASC members, works to identify emerging humanitarian trends and changes in the humanitarian environment and then to develop common or harmonized policy positions among humanitarian agencies based on human rights, international law and humanitarian principles. This process involves engagement with Member States and with the various organs of the UN including ECOSOC, General Assembly and the Security Council to promote greater recognition and application of humanitarian principles.

3. 'Advocacy on Humanitarian Issues' - through its advocacy, information analysis, information and communications technology, and external and donor relations activities, works to create awareness of humanitarian issues among a wide range of audiences in order to raise political and financial support for humanitarian relief and to ensure that the full spectrum of OCHA's information services are available to senior managers, policy makers and relief workers at the headquarters, field and other levels. Underpinning all these activities is awareness of the necessity to build strong information exchange partnerships with all humanitarian actors.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 4 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 4 non-governmental organizations.
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Information Services

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Members in 0 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Societal Problems
    • Emergencies
    • Vulnerability
  • Health Care
    • Rehabilitation
  • Strategy
    • Coordination
  • International Relations
    • United Nations
  • Peace
    • Humanitarian

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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