ReliefWeb was launched in October 1996. It is part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The United Nations General Assembly recognized the importance of having reliable and timely information during humanitarian emergencies and endorsed the service one year later. It also encouraged the exchange of humanitarian information through ReliefWeb by all governments, relief agencies and non-governmental organizations in resolution 51/194.
In 2003, the General Assembly reiterated the importance of information sharing in emergencies, and of taking advantage of OCHA's emergency information services such as ReliefWeb in resolution 57/153.
In 2005, ReliefWeb completed its first major re-design effort.
In 2011, ReliefWeb launched a brand new website that uses the latest open source technology to offer a cleaner design, more intuitive navigation, and a powerful search/filter engine and delivery system.
In 2012, ReliefWeb developed a "Vision & Strategy" to become the one-stop shop for critical information on global crises and disasters. It will continue to roll out new products and features as envisaged by the "Vision & Strategy."