Twenty years ago, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 46/182 on “strengthening the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance to the United Nations”. The resolution stated that to be more effective during crises, the UN needed to build a more coordinated response system. It then set out a plan to do just that.
Two decades on, the system developed in that plan has become even more important. Ongoing conflict, rising populations, rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, water shortages, increasing food prices and climate change are just some of the factors that have led to larger, more severe and more complex humanitarian emergencies than ever before.
At the same time, power is shifting and evolving; from traditional Government structures to a multiplicity of civic and private actors living increasingly interconnected lives. This is having profound implications for the way we do our work.
The new political and economic realities that have emerged over the past decade have challenged old assumptions and models dramatically. How we respond and the quality of that response have come under increasing scrutiny, with more people working in more locations and at greater cost.
Information that once took weeks, if not months, to gather and distribute can be accessed immediately as events take place. Expectations have risen accordingly, inspiring calls for faster and more-effective action, with clear and measurable results. Governments, the public and, most importantly, the people we help want us to be more accountable.
This document sets out OCHA’s plan and budget for 2012 and 2013. We aim to strengthen our operations in all areas during this time, building on the ongoing reforms taking place in the global humanitarian system. We need a system that is inclusive and flexible.
Rapid change, an increasing workload and growing financial constraints are demanding an unprecedented degree of creativity and flexibility of international institutions, and testing the ability of OCHA and its partners. With this two-year plan, I firmly believe that OCHA can take on the challenge and succeed.