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 Structure and Working Method 2019-2020 (31 January 2019)
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:
- Operational Response
- Accountability and Inclusion
- Collective Advocacy
- Humanitarian-Development Collaboration
- Humanitarian Financing
These strategic priorities were translated to a two year workplan which was endorsed by the Principals in January 2019
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.