UNICEF in emergencies

Humanitarian Reform

In recent years humanitarian organizations have become increasingly effective in saving lives, alleviating human suffering, and advocating for the rights of people in need. Nonetheless, there are considerable gaps in the ability of the humanitarian system to respond adequately to all humanitarian crises. Hence there is a need for the humanitarian community to provide more timely and predictable response to crises around the globe. It is for this reason that the Emergency Relief Coordinator launched a comprehensive humanitarian reform process in 2005.

The Humanitarian Response Review was intended to identify those factors that have hindered the speed and effectiveness of humanitarian response in the past, and to propose appropriate steps towards improving the timeliness and impact of future humanitarian interventions. The recommendations presented in the report clearly address identified needs to promote:

  • A global vision of the necessary reforms and a shared plan of action for the improvement of the system in a reasonably short timeframe.
  • Accountability, in particular towards people in need.
  • The establishment of appropriate mechanisms to measure results, on which a consensus can be built between humanitarian organizations, donors and recipient countries.
  • Preparedness across the system, including but not exclusively, at the level of the international humanitarian organizations matched to appropriate political and financial support.
  • Interoperability within and between the UN system, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and NGOs.

Related documents

Humanitarian Response Review (OCHA, 2005)
An independent report commissioned by the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator & Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Humanitarian Response Review [pdf]

Update on Humanitarian Reform (OCHA, 2006)
This report, which was issued in March 2006, explains how the reform recommendations are being translated into action.
Update on Humanitarian Reform [pdf]

Resolutions of the General Assembly on the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)
There are many situations in which crises and the scale of suffering can develop rapidly and where there is insufficient time to go through a detailed appeals process. Therefore, predictable amounts of money are needed to cover these start-up costs. The goal of the Fund is simple: within 72 hours, provide aid workers with sufficient funding to jump-start lifesaving relief operations when most lives are on the line.
Resolutions of the General Assembly on CERF: A/RES/46/182(1991), A/RES/47/168(1992), A/RES/48/57(1993), A/RES/49/139(1994), A/RES/50/57(1995), A/RES/51/194(1997), A/RES/54/95(2000), A/RES/54/233(2000), A/RES/55/163(2001), A/RES/56/107(2002), A/RES/57/153(2003), A/RES/60/124(2005).




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