Qatar Charity and UN Humanitarian Office launch first Stand-by Partnership Programme in the Middle East
(Doha/Cairo, 20 June 2011): The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Qatar Charity today officially confirmed, during a signing ceremony in Doha, the Stand-By Partnership Programme that aims at deploying Qatari experts in humanitarian emergencies as part of OCHA.
“This new agreement paves the way for deploying Qataris to OCHA field operations and is the first of its kind with a donor country from the Middle East region,” said Ivo Freijsen, Chief of Surge Capacity Section of OCHA in Geneva. He added that nationals from other Arab States could also be seconded to OCHA through the programme.
Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Charity, Abdullah al-Nameh said: "Qatar Charity will provide specialised staff to support UN OCHA in their field operation. Qatar Charity is the first organisation in the Middle East to receive this opportunity and will provide the best response to support the needy in the Middle East and elsewhere."
OCHA maintains Stand-By Partnership Programme arrangements with 11 humanitarian organizations in the world to provide staff seconded to OCHA field operations in case of new or escalating humanitarian emergencies. Each year, between 40 and 60 Stand-By Partner experts are deployed to OCHA field operations.
Apart from Qatar Charity, the majority of OCHA’s Stand-By Partners are from the Western world. There is therefore a need to diversify the programme to include relief personnel with varied cultural and geographical backgrounds and language skills to ensure that OCHA can adequately respond to new emergencies.
Following the uprisings across the North Africa and Middle East region in early 2011, OCHA identified a need to expand its pool of experienced Arabic speaking humanitarian staff who are familiar with the region. The partnership with Qatar Charity is a significant and promising step in this direction and once the agreement between OCHA and Qatar Charity becomes operational, Qatar Charity will support OCHA with suitable candidates.
For further information, please contact:
OCHA: Jens Laerke, Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +20 2 2751 5016-17, Cell +20 19 555 8662
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.