UN launches appeal to strengthen humanitarian response capacity

(Geneva: 25 April 2007): The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is today launching a $62.5 million inter-agency Appeal for Building Global Humanitarian Response Capacity.

The appeal seeks funding for eleven sectors to strengthen global humanitarian response capacity. They are agriculture, camp coordination and camp management, early recovery, education, emergency shelter, emergency telecommunications, health, logistics, nutrition, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene. The appeal follows a comprehensive analysis of the international response to emergencies. It is part of an ambitious humanitarian reform agenda agreed in 2005. Partners in the global capacity-building exercise include United Nations (UN) agencies, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Activities included in the appeal cover global-level capacity-building in three main areas: building rosters of expert staff for rapid deployment; ensuring adequate commonly-accessible stockpiles at the global level; and developing common standards, systems, and tools for international emergency response.

"This appeal is to support a major collective effort to improve international responses to humanitarian emergencies by making them more professional." said John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "The aim is to reinforce our support to governments in providing relief and protection to people affected by emergencies. The budget we are seeking represents a tiny proportion of the $3.9 billion we sought through humanitarian appeals for field operations around the world in 2007, but should improve the speed and quality of response in current and future crises."

Today's event in Geneva provides Member States with a first opportunity to discuss the humanitarian reform process with the new Emergency Relief Coordinator, who assumed his duties on 1 March 2007.

In 2006, ten Governments contributed generously to the first global capacity-building appeal, which was for $38 million. The United Nations and its partners are urging Governments to respond equally generously to this second and final appeal. This would signify a continued commitment by all stakeholders to make humanitarian response more predictable, effective and accountable.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA NY, +917 367 5126; Kristen Knutson, OCHANY, + 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA Geneva, +41 22 917 2653.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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