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Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs


OCHA
Ashot Sargsyan National Disaster Response Adviser

UN Office for the Coordination
of Humanitarian Affairs


14 Petros Adamyan St.
0010 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (374 60) 530000 + 213
E-mail: ashot.sargsyan@undp.org
sargsyan@un.org

URL: http://www.unocha.org/rocca/about-us/about-ocha-rocca/armenia

Mandate

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was created in December 1991 by General Assembly Resolution 46/182. OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort. 

OCHA's mission is to:

  • Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
  • Advocate the rights of people in need.
  • Promote preparedness and prevention.
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions.
     

OCHA in Armenia

In 2011, OCHA Regional Office for Caucasus and Central Asia (ROCCA) assumed a monitoring role in the Caucasus. In 2012, the office expanded to fully cover the region, including Armenia. Since then, OCHA has actively engaged the wider humanitarian community in Armenia, and facilitated an inter-agency contingency planning process and related activities in order to better plan and coordinate disaster preparedness initiatives.


Preparedness

OCHA ROCCA emergency preparedness activities in Armenia aim at developing knowledge and capacity to anticipate, respond and recover from potentially devastating disasters.  OCHA in Armenia supports the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) in her/his role of the Chair of the Disaster Management Country Team (DMCT). OCHA ensures a constant information flow with national disaster management authorities on disaster related information and DMCT operations.

OCHA facilitates coordination of partners mandated with humanitarian assistance at national and international levels, and raises awareness among NGOs, the UN and Government of the tools, services and mechanisms available for emergency preparedness and response.

OCHA in Armenia advocates and ensures regular update of the DMCT inter-agency contingency plan (IACP) in accordance with Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines. OCHA strengthens capacities of NGOs and the UN for better emergency response preparedness and response through the following activities:

  • helping partners implement a joint inter-agency emergency response preparedness (ERP) plan of action;
  • mapping preparedness capacities and identifying gaps;
  • promoting joint inter-agency information management platform;
  • supporting development of common operational data for preparedness and response;
  • leading inter-agency dialogue on  development of  joint / coordinated  rapid needs assessment, analysis, and reporting;
  • in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and National Red Cross Societies, facilitating  resolution of any legal impediments for international humanitarian assistance and promoting international disaster response laws.

OCHA in Armenia monitors early warning indicators and prepares qualitative and quantitative reports. OCHA circulates early warning information amongst humanitarian partners and coordinates respective preparedness actions.


Resilience

OCHA in Armenia embarked upon introduction of a new approach to preparedness – building more resilient communities. Resilient people have the knowledge and capacity to withstand shocks and recover from negative effects of disasters quickly and with little reliance on outside help. A resilience thematic group is up and running in close cooperation with the Government and Disaster Risk Reduction National Platform. With OCHA’s guidance, the resilience thematic group helps local governing bodies incorporate resilience into development strategies and plans.


Emergency Response

OCHA plays a key role in operational coordination in crisis situations. This includes assessing situations and needs; agreeing common priorities; developing common strategies to address issues such as negotiating access, mobilizing funding and other resources; clarifying consistent public messaging; and monitoring progress.

OCHA's role is to support the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator and to ensure effective coordination, including strengthening the cluster approach, data and information management, and reporting. 

By ensuring that the right structures, partnerships and leaders are supported, OCHA and its humanitarian partners can better prepare for and more effectively coordinate humanitarian operations.


OCHA in Caucasus and Central Asia

OCHA helps build a more diverse, flexible and adaptable humanitarian sector for Caucasus and Central Asia. OCHA and its humanitarian partners make it a priority to raise people’s ability to withstand shock and to enable crisis-affected people to get back on their feet following a disaster.

For countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia, OCHA proposes a set of concrete actions, processes and deliverables to ensure that preparedness levels in the region allow for humanitarian action in large-scale disasters to be rapid, effective and based on universal humanitarian principles:

  • Strengthen emergency response planning across the region through successful implementation of inter-agency contingency plans and minimum preparedness actions
  • Ensure that civil-military coordination arrangements for emergency response are in place well ahead of disasters
  • Build emergency response capacity of member states through exposure to and increased participation in international response mechanisms, including INSARAG / UNDAC
  • Pilot resilience approach by scaling up vulnerability and risk mapping, better connecting early warning and early action, and improving linkages among national, development and humanitarian actors
  • Reinforce existing and foster new partnerships to advance disaster preparedness in the region
  • Promote innovation to improve humanitarian response and preparedness.

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