What is OCHA ?
- Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
As part of the United Nations Secretariat, OCHA leads coordination of emergency relief and humanitarian assistance; mobilizes required resources; facilitates communication and information management to ensure smooth and effective response; engages in awareness raising and advocacy efforts; and supports development of policies related to international humanitarian issues.
OCHA’s headquarters are located in New York and Geneva, and at the moment, more than 2,100 staff members are deployed to over 50 regional and country offices. Japan is an important donor, supporting OCHA activities across the globe.
Message from the OCHA Kobe Office
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) was established by the UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182. With ‘Coordination Saves Lives’ as its motto, OCHA aims at bringing coordinated emergency humanitarian response in conflicts or natural disasters.
During the Great East Japan Earthquake, massive humanitarian aid arrived from abroad, and we, OCHA, dispatched the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team to Japan immediately after the earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku region to support the Government in the analysis and dissemination of humanitarian information. As the people in Japan experienced, either directly or indirectly, smooth coordination among the stakeholders — Government, municipalities, NGOs, volunteers, private sector, etc. — and timely and appropriate judgment makes a huge difference in the outcomes of the emergency response.
The OCHA Kobe Office was established in 2001, and since January 2012, it supports OCHA operations outside Japan by strengthening partnerships with relevant organizations in Japan. It also plays the role of OCHA’s spokesperson in Japan.
As the disaster becomes larger, more frequent and more complex, the world needs Japan. OCHA hopes that Japan makes steady progress in the recovery and reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region. And at the same time, OCHA also strongly hopes that Japan continues, and even strengthens, its involvement in disaster management and humanitarian assistance globally. Japan has a lot to offer for the people in other countries who are suffering from hardships; not only financial contributions, Japan’s rich experience, know-how, human resources, policies and institutions are all relevant and valuable for other countries. Japan maintains the long tradition of helping each other, and the nation feels the pain of others as its own. As Japan overcomes the hardships of the Great East Japan Earthquake, I believe that this country can make a unique contribution to the global humanity.
I wish that the Japanese policy makers, the media, the private sector, NGO workers, researchers, students and the general public utilize various information services offered by OCHA, and that they participate more actively in the international humanitarian action. I strongly believe that individual actions – well coordinated – can create a larger force which can make a real difference in saving many lives.
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Kobe Office
Disaster Reduction Museum East 5F, 1-5-2, Wakinohama-Kaigandori, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-0073, Japan
Tel：078-262-5555 ／ Fax：078-262-5558
http://www.unocha.org/japan (OCHA Kobe)