About IASC

About IASC

About IASC

Mark Lowcock, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Chair of the IASC


Created by the United Nations General Assembly, through its resolution 46/182 in 1991, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee is the longest-standing and highest-level humanitarian coordination forum of the United Nations system that brings together 18 Principals of United Nations and non-United Nations entities to ensure coherence of preparedness and response efforts, formulate policy, and agree on priorities for strengthened humanitarian action.

It facilitates the leadership role of the United Nations Secretary-General by meeting regularly to ensure better preparation for, as well as rapid and coherent response to, humanitarian crises. It is chaired by the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC).

For more about the IASC, please refer to:

IASC Factsheet

IASC Terms of Reference, February 2014

IASC Work Plan 2019-2020

IASC Structure and Working Method 2019-2020 (31 January 2019)

Strategic Priorities

Every two years, and as required, the IASC agrees on priorities that strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of collective humanitarian action, specifically to save lives and reduce suffering. In May 2018, the IASC agreed on the following Five Strategic Priorities:

These strategic priorities were translated to a two year workplan which was endorsed by the Principals in January 2019

IASC Strategic Priorities for 2018-2019, endorsed by the IASC Principals

IASC Membership

The IASC is composed of the executive heads of 18 United Nations and non-UN organizations.

The number of participating agencies has expanded since the inception of the IASC in 1992. Today, the IASC’s full Members are: UNDP, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, FAO, WHO, UN-HABITAT, OCHA, IOM, UNFPA. The Standing Invitees are: ICRC, IFRC, OHCHR, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, the World Bank, and the NGO consortia - ICVA, InterAction and SCHR (each joined by two NGO representatives). In practice, no distinction is made between Members and Standing Invitees.

Full Members

Standing Invitees

IASC structure 2019

See the full IASC structure.

IASC Structure and Working Method 2019 - 2020

This document sets out the new Inter Agency Standing Committee’s (IASC) structure and its working methods to ensure that it is better fit for purpose and able to focus on its original mandate, as laid out in General Assembly resolutions.