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Home » News

UN aid chief welcomes Swedish donation to crisis in Horn of Africa

Article / Review by on December 9, 2011 – 7:21 pmNo Comments

UN aid chief welcomes Swedish donation to crisis in Horn of Africa

Valerie Amos speaks with a mother and children while on a three-day mission to the Horn of Africa to raise awareness for the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world. Photo: OCHAValerie Amos speaks with a mother and children while on a three-day mission to the Horn of Africa to raise awareness for the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world./ Photo: OCHA

The United Nations humanitarian chief today welcomed the announcement by Sweden, already one of the key donors to UN aid operations, of another $10 million in funding to help with the response to the crisis engulfing the Horn of Africa.

Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, has spent the past two days in Sweden meeting with top officials to discuss the situation in the Horn of Africa and other humanitarian issues.

Ms. Amos – who described the situation in the Horn of Africa as “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world” – noted that at least four million people continue to need urgent assistance in Somalia alone, with people also suffering in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya as a result of drought, famine and insecurity.

Sweden’s contribution is vital if we are to sustain the fragile progress made this year.

“Sweden’s contribution is vital if we are to sustain the fragile progress made this year,” she said in a statement issued in Stockholm, the country’s capital.

The donation will be used to help fund emergency food supplies, the provision of clean water and treatment for severely malnourished children.

During her visit Ms. Amos met with Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation; several key parliamentarians; UN officials; Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, the Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); and representatives of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that deal with humanitarian issues.

Sweden, the second largest donor to both the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has contributed $123 million to the Horn of Africa crisis so far this year.


About the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

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.

How we deliver   

OCHA’s Strategic Framework ensures that OCHA delivers on its core mandate, while responding to contemporary global challenges. The three pillars of the Strategic Framework are:

1. Partnerships: broadening the coalition for multilateral humanitarian action
The scale and scope of global challenges requires working together in new ways, with new partners. Partnership has always been integral to OCHA’s efforts. Sustained relations, built on trust and mutual respect, are vital when preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies. OCHA has a unique position within the international humanitarian system to convene and influence agendas. We will do this more strategically, with the aim of creating a more enabling environment for humanitarian action.

2. Service provider: building a better system
The expectations of OCHA have evolved since humanitarian reform. We will ensure that our services and support to partners also evolve and meet clients’ needs. We are focused on helping partners more predictably through humanitarian coordination leadership, strengthening coordination mechanisms, and improving the evidence base for humanitarian decision-making, planning and resource allocation.

3. Reliability and professionalism: creating better staffing and surge solutions to be there when it counts     
In 2010, OCHA will introduce surge solutions to ensure the right people are on the ground immediately after a new disaster. This will be coordinated with longer-term staffing to ensure continuity of OCHA presence.

OCHA people

OCHA is its people. From 35 offices around the world, some 1,900 specialized and dedicated OCHA staff work to ensure that effective assistance reaches millions of humanitarian beneficiaries in four continents. - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)


> United Nations (UN).

The General Assembly in session. Photo credit: UN / Eskinder Debebe The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 192 countries.

When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:

  • to maintain international peace and security;
  • to develop friendly relations among nations;
  • to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
  • and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.


* The above story is adapted from materials provided by United Nations (UN)
** More information at United Nations (UN)

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