World + 16 more

Overview of the 2013 Consolidated Appeals and comparable humanitarian action plans

Originally published



Humanitarian action in 2013 aims to deliver aid to at least 51 million people in 16 countries who desperately need life-saving assistance. Hundreds of international aid organisations and their counterparts in the affected countries have come together to share and analyse information on humanitarian needs, to make a unified strategic response plan, and to organise implementation so as to deliver aid as effectively as possible to those most in need. Delivering emergency aid is a vital contribution of the international humanitarian community in situations where national government capacity is stretched.

These people in need may be displaced from their homes and cut off from their livelihoods. They may have lost access to essential services—health care, physical security, education. They may be re-settling in their communities after displacement but without shelter, safe water sources and sanitation, livelihoods, and other means for survival. Poor harvests, loss of livestock, and other stresses may have made them unable to feed their children or care for their elderly. The humanitarian imperative is to meet all of these needs—the specific needs of women, girls, boys and men—plus take every opportunity to help people restore their self-sufficiency, security and dignity.
International humanitarian actors are the outermost circle of help for these people. Neighbours, communities, civil society organizations, businesses, local and national governments, and diasporas are almost always the first responders and, throughout a protracted crisis, the most important providers of aid. Governments‘ ability to respond has been strengthening over the last decades, with efforts to reinforce preparedness and response capacity. The international humanitarian system recognizes this central role that affected people, local communities, and a range of other local actors have in coping with a crisis, supporting each other, and rebuilding their lives. International humanitarians supplement and support these main providers of aid.

The circle of international humanitarian action is widening: implementing organizations and donors from many regions are now more recognized for the scale and success of their contributions, which were so evident in the response to the Horn of Africa famine in 2011. As there is no let-up in humanitarian needs around the world—and indeed a prospect of deepening needs if climate trends continue—the full capacity of all parts of the international humanitarian system will be tested and new ways of working need to be developed: new partners, innovative ways of responding, better early warning and early action, preparedness, and faster recovery to limit interruptions to development.

Coordinated humanitarian methods will continue to improve in 2013, building on recent experience in the consolidated appeal process and the Transformative Agenda. Needs assessments will be further harmonized, and the results jointly analysed so as to enable planning based on a clear quantitative and qualitative understanding of the needs and priorities of all segments of the affected communities. Common strategic planning and budgeting will be further strengthened to provide a clearer framework for programme and project planning. Consolidated appeals will draw on the plans to advocate funding at the required levels. The gender marker will continue to be used to improve impact of response. Strategic objectives and indicators will be monitored and reported on more systematically, to support informed decision-making by humanitarian leaders.

To achieve the humanitarian objectives in these major crises in 2013, voluntary contributions amounting to US$ 8.5 billion will be necessary.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit