Memorandum submitted by the United Nations
Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
1. A statement made by Mrs Bellamy during
the testimony portrays our long-term goals when it comes not just
to Afghanistan, but all crises we are co-ordinating. Quote: "Emergencies
do not start and stop very quickly any more, maybe it is a substitute
for the lack of political will in some places. . . . . . . . I
think sometimes we would be glad to have ourselves put out of
work in some of these places if there could be, with all due respect,
the intervention that perhaps the international community needs."
2. Afghanistan has faced a major crisis
over the last 23 years. First, with the Soviet occupation, then
in-fighting between the various groups over the last 10 years.
This has had a catastrophic effect on the society and the health
and the welfare of millions of individual Afghans. As long as
the necessary stability and National Government structures are
not in place the support of Humanitarian agencies and OCHA will
continue to be necessary.
3. Jointly with other humanitarian and development
partners OCHA is already preparing for a transitional phase from
humanitarian assistance to reconstruction. To this end we are
working closely in programming with our development partners.
This planning is contingent upon the evolving political and security
situation in Afghanistan. Please refer to the attached documents
Interim Review30-day Operational Assistance Plan and A
Preliminary Strategy for the Transition from Relief to Development
in Afghanistan (not printed).
4. Although OCHA is part of the UN Secretariat
it receives currently only 11% from the UN Regular Budget. Most
of its requirements are met from voluntary contributions from
member states (extra-budgetary sources in UN terminology). This
includes the cost of field offices which are also reflected also
in UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeals.
5. OCHA annually publishes a document describing
its activities and expected requirements. These needs vary with
the number and magnitude of crises OCHA is tasked to co-ordinate,
which cover natural disasters as well as complex emergencies.
Punctual appeals are often necessary as emergencies occur, especially
for natural disasters.
6. On 27 November 2001, appeals were launched
by the UN Secretary-General and UN Agencies and partners for 18
complex emergencies (including Afghanistan) to reach 33 million
persons made vulnerable by conflict. A launching event was held
in London by the Executive Director of UNICEF together with the
Department for International Development. The needs for these
18 crises are estimated at US$ 2.5 billion, which includes the
needs for six months in response to the Afghanistan crisis. Summary
information on the countries in crisis is attached (not printed).
United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian
6 December 2001