Sommaire: EU Commission approves €3 million to strengthen the coordination of humanitarian assistance under the UN umbrella (Brussels: 9 March 2006)
The European Commission, through its Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), has made a decision to provide €3 million to support and enhance information systems essential for the coordination of humanitarian assistance through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Louis Michel, the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, commented: "2005 was an 'annus horribilis' from a humanitarian viewpoint with a string of natural disasters generating a great deal of suffering. I am committed to continue working with all humanitarian stakeholders to improve the overall effectiveness, timeliness and equity of our relief response."
As shown recently in the Darfur crisis, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the South Asia earthquake, access to information is crucial for a coherent strategic response. The faster the humanitarian community can collect, analyse, disseminate and act on key information, the more effective its response will be, which means that more needs will be met. Addressing this issue is a priority for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA's information systems are crucial for the humanitarian community, including the European Commission, which is one of the worlds main humanitarian donors.
Through this funding decision, the Commission will continue to support OCHA's Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) and ReliefWeb. It will also contribute to the strengthening of the following information tools:
The new funding is a concrete follow up to the Principles and Good Practices of Humanitarian Donorship, endorsed by the major international donors in Stockholm in June 2003, which aim to enhance the coherence and effectiveness of humanitarian aid. It is also a reflection of the European Commission's continuing commitment to work closely with international organisations in the delivery of humanitarian aid.
More information can be found at: