About the Inter-Agency Standing Committee

About the Inter-Agency Standing Committee

About the Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Video message from 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:

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:

Four purple arrows converging on a point, the icon used for IASC strategic priority 1 on operational response

Strategic Priority 1:
Operational Response
Through maximising timeliness, apropriateness, transparency and cost effectiveness

A red equilateral triangle with large points at each corner - used as the icon of IASC Strategic Priority 2 on Accountability and Inclusion

Strategic Priority 2:
Accountability and Inclusion
Through proactively eradicating abuse and systematically including feedback and representation

Three yellow figures standing shoulder-to-shoulder - used as the icon for IASC Strategic Priority 3 on Collective Advocacy

Strategic Priority 3:
Collective Advocacy
Through maximising the influence and credibility of targeted, informed and collective leadership

A pair of holding hands in the shape of a love heart - the icon used for IASC Strategic Priority 4 on Humanitarian-Development Collaboration.

Strategic Priority 4:
Humanitarian-Development Collaboration
Through maximising long-term impact, while safeguarding humanitarian space and principles

A blue sack of money, the icon used for IASC Strategic Priority 5 on Humanitarian Financing

Strategic Priority 5:
Humanitarian Financing
Through focusing on addressing specific gaps with transparent collective funding supported by sound evidence

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 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

An image of an organisation chart. It is too small for the text to be legible.

See the full IASC structure.

IASC Structure and Working Method 2019 - 2020

An image of the cover page of the IASC Structure and Working Method, blue with a swooping dark blue curve across the top.

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.