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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Humanitarian Support Unit (OCHA HSU)

OCHA operates under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/182 of December 1991.

The OCHA mandate is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors to:

  • Alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies
  • Advocate for the rights of people in need
  • Promote preparedness and prevention, and
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions.

We are guided by a global mandate which includes the coordination of humanitarian response, humanitarian advocacy and policy development.

OCHA in Nepal

The OCHA Nepal office was established in 2005 to address the humanitarian consequences of the former conflict. OCHA Nepal’s main office was in the capital, Kathmandu. It had sub-offices in Biratnagar in the east and Nepalgunj in the west.

OCHA Nepal Humanitarian Support Unit (HSU)

To ensure the UN system is able to respond to peace-building and recovery needs and continuing humanitarian situations, an ‘Early Recovery Initiative’ has been implemented, creating a joint RC/HC office (with four regional ‘field coordination offices’). On 1 August, the OCHA Country Office Nepal transferred into the OCHA Nepal Humanitarian Support Unit (HSU) within the RC/HC Office. OCHA HSU contributes to field coordination units, under the RCHCO, that leverage OCHA coordination tools and services for residual humanitarian needs. Emphasis is placed on working with the apex disaster management body in the Government and transferring mechanisms to local capacities for disaster response.

OCHA HSU is facilitating the comprehensive planning processes for disaster preparedness and contingency planning, with a specific focus on earthquake preparedness. The earthquake response plan with incorporate all stakeholders, including bilateral partners, regional forums, as well as activate OCHA tools such as UNDAC, INSARAG and Civil-Military Coordination. OCHA is also supporting the Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC) initiative as a framework for OCHA engagement in response preparedness to ensure more defined roles and responsibilities.

The objective of OCHA HSU is to continue key work on disaster preparedness initiatives, inter-cluster coordination, and capacity building of key stakeholders for emergency response capacity.

Nepal Humanitarian Work Plan 2011

Overall Strategic Objectives in 2011:

  1. Facilitate access to basic humanitarian services; meet basic standards (through established guidelines and SOPs) for target populations; and implement interventions to avoid emergency thresholds.
  2. Build effective partnerships for strengthened coordinated capacity to maintain sustainable systems by government, key partners and communities including development partners.
  3. Establish defined encompassing approaches for disaster preparedness for emergency response linked to the NRRC Flagship programmes.

Overall Activities in 2011:

  1. Assessments, monitoring and analysis (situation, needs, gaps and response);
  2. Cluster strengthening (including inter-cluster coordination);
  3. Targeted capacity building of key partners, in particular Government counterparts and NGOs;
  4. Preparedness planning for emergency response (contingency planning, preparedness actions, supply chain MoUs, stockpiling, etc.);
  5. Advocacy; awareness raising; information-sharing; and communication strategy;

Overall Outcomes in 2011:

  1. Reduced vulnerability to shocks through enhanced local awareness, capacities and effective partnerships that maintain sustainable mechanisms;
  2. Detailed disaster preparedness approaches mapped, operationalised and tested to ensure an effective and coordinated rapid response, when required;

Mainstreamed humanitarian approaches merging with development programmes.

OCHA HSU in Nepal is situated in the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinators in Kathmandu.