Since its inception in 1991 as part of the UN Secretariat, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is effectively coordinating international assistance in humanitarian crises. To support OCHA in this important task, seven humanitarian donors established a group of “Friends of OCHA” in 1997. The group quickly grew in size and currently includes 25 states from all continents *.
Today, the “OCHA Donor Support Group” (ODSG), as it is now called, acts as OCHA’s main sounding board. It advises the organisation on policy, management and financial questions and provides political, financial and technical support to humanitarian concerns in the UN system and beyond.
Germany chaired the group in 2012/13. Under German Chairmanship, the ODSG provided input to OCHA’s new strategic framework 2014-17, tracked progress of the humanitarian reform process and assessed OCHA’s role in emergency preparedness. Better preparedness also played a central role during a field visit in April 2013 to Indonesia, a country with extensive experience in mitigating natural disasters, such as tsunamis, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.
*Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States and the European Commission.