Year in Review

Families fleeing from their homes as a result of fighting between the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)

Families fleeing from their homes in Maguindanao as a result of fighting between the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. © OCHA/Jeoffrey Maitem




  • Coordination: OCHA brings people and organizations together to minimize the disruption caused by crises and to save lives. OCHA also helps Governments to better prepare for and respond to crises and access tools and services that provide relief. OCHA also deploys rapid-response teams, and it works with partners to assess needs and take the required action.
  • Policy: OCHA identifies and analyses trends and helps the humanitarian community develop common policy to guide actions based on human rights, international law and humanitarian principles.
  • Advocacy: OCHA raises awareness of the plight of people affected by conflict and disaster. It does so publically and also works behind the scenes in conflict situations. For example, it works with Governments and armed groups to get help to people caught in the midst of fighting, or on the protection of civilians.
  • Information Management: OCHA collects, analyses and shares information about what is happening in a crisis to support more informed decision-making and planning.
  • Humanitarian Financing: OCHA provides rapid humanitarian funding. OCHA’s financial-tracking system helps to monitor humanitarian donations from more than 130 countries, and OCHA’s advocacy and fundraising efforts contribute to raising money for a range of partners who support humanitarian response efforts.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the part of the United Nations responsible for bringing together humanitarian organizations and Governments to ensure a rapid and coherent response to disasters and emergencies around the world.

In 2012, OCHA coordinated US$8.78 billion of humanitarian programming, assisting 54 million people affected by the world’s worst crises. Our share of that work cost $246.5 million.

We have more than 2,000 staff working in over 50 country, regional and headquarters locations. Our staff come from almost 100 countries, bringing local knowledge and commitment to the understanding of  response to humanitarian response efforts. They help national and international partners work better together during emergencies so that aid reaches the people who need it most. Their work helps to save lives by ensuring that the most vulnerable and needy are helped, by reducing duplication and focusing efforts. In any crisis, making sure that everyone has a shared understanding of the problem and what needs to be done is crucial.