OCHA - Coordination of humanitarian affairs

The humanitarian assistance of the United Nations is a complex interaction of UN programmes and agencies, non-governmental organizations, the governments concerned and the affected population. The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) serves as the coordinating body of international humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies and natural disasters.

OCHA is headed by an Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, holding the chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC).The Committee is an inter-agency forum with representatives of key UN agencies and other appropriate actors developing humanitarian policies and allocating division of responsibility.

OCHA monitors humanitarian developments throughout the world and has developed an effective early warning system on emergencies.

More on UN and OCHA

  • Background information and news and full text documents and reports can be accessed through the OCHA website.
  • OCHA administers the database ReliefWeb, the leading gateway to information on humanitarian emergencies and disasters. It is updated around the clock from three different time zones. ReliefWeb offers:
  • IRIN - Integrated Regional Information Network - is part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. It provides news and analysis about sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for the humanitarian community.
  • UN Pulse #ocha. The blog of UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library, New York.

UN documents and publications in catalogues and databases

  • United Nations Digital Library offers UN documents and open access publications, UN voting data and speeches, UN maps, Content in 6+ languages. Replaces the traditional online catalogue UNBISnet.
  • UN iLibrary UN publications online covering different topics.
  • ODS full-text UN documents published from 1993 onward and scanned documents published between 1946 and 1993 in the official languages of the UN.
  • Daily list of documents (ODS). Documents published for the day, with full text links, can be found in the United Nations full text database ODS.
  • UNBIS Thesaurus a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents.
  • Index to proceedings is an annual bibliographic guide to the proceedings and documentation of the major UN organs. The index includes:
    • a list of all documents
    • a comprehensive subject index
    • an index to speeches
    • a voting chart of resolutions
  • United Nations Documents Index (United Nations Digital Library) References to all documents by subject area are published. A collection of indexes is held by the Dag Hammarskjöld and Law Library, Uppsala, and the Libraries at UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva.