The COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on ongoing humanitarian crises have created a need to make funding agreements more flexible so that frontline humanitarian actors receive timely and adequate resources and can pivot as appropriate to COVID-19-related activities.
This light guidance was developed by WHO and UNHCR on behalf of the IASC Results Group 4 on Humanitarian-Development Collaboration and in consultation with the UN Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration (JSC). It is to be a live document meant to ensure a common understanding of analysis, funding and financial strategies and effective coordination initiatives. It highlights key steps and questions that should be answered during the process of creating and delivering context-specific collective outcomes.
Today, the IASC Principals issued a joint statement, expressing alarm about the situation in Yemen, as COVID-19 is spreading rapidly amid unabated conflict and lac of funding for humanitarian programmes.
Against a backdrop of mounting humanitarian needs, especially for families displaced by the fighting, official COVID-19 case figures as of 28 May stand at 253 cases and 50 deaths. Further testing and analysis are required to provide a true picture of the epidemic and the case fatality rate in Yemen.
Following discussions at IASC Principals meeting on 9 April 2020, UNICEF and OCHA have produced some communication content to support our collective advocacy efforts for safe and fast-tracked access for health and aid workers and supplies at borders and in countries.
The UN’s Humanitarian Chief, Mark Lowcock, has called for swift and determined action to avoid the most destabilizing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as he releases a $6.7 billion appeal and an updated global plan to fight coronavirus in fragile countries.
Major IASC organizations have issued a graphic warning of the risk of coronavirus to the world’s most vulnerable countries after disclosing that international donors had pledged around a quarter of the $2 billion the UN requested in the Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 in March.
Following is the text of the open letter:
Dear donor community,
This document outlines the ‘light’ and ‘adapted’ scale-up protocols to be activated for IASC response to the COVID-19 emergency. It describes the collective approach and principles of action to guide the system-wide response. This activation may be updated to ensure it retains currency in view of the exceptional and rapidly evolving situation.
During the unprecedented challenge of the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, IASC members are still working and prioritizing support to the most vulnerable people--who need us now more than ever.
On 5 December 2019 the Executive Heads of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) met in Geneva, Swtizerland to address key issues on system-wide importance for humanitarian action.
The Committee discussed a number of critical humanitarian crises and the required support to meet urgent humanitarian needs, including in Syria, the Sahel Region, Afghanistan, and Sudan.
On 5 December 2019, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee will meet in Geneva to discuss key issues of system-wide importance for humanitarian action. During a Horizon Scanning session, the Committee will discuss a number of critical humanitarian crises and the required support to meet the urgent humanitarian needs on the ground. They will also have the opportunity to discuss key thematic issues and agree on efforts to prioritize work around these areas.
Following extensive deliberations and consultations, and reflecting the Strategic Priorities agreed by the IASC Principals, the IASC structures have been updated. The new structures are intended to deliver on the two year workplan which was endorsed by the Principals in January 2019.
The latest meeting of the Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) took place on 3 December in Geneva. The meeting focused on a horizon scanning session where the Principals discussed key countries of concern and efforts to strengthen the humanitarian response to meet the most urgent needs on the ground.
Statement on Yemen byPrincipals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee3 December 2018We have met in Geneva today, for our regular twice-yearly discussion of the major humanitarian challenges facing the world. Yemen was first and foremost in our talks. We are alarmed at the dramatic deterioration in the situation over recent months. Millions of lives are now at serious risk.
New York, 29 November 2018As deliveredMr. President, distinguished Council members,I provide this update today on behalf of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Mark Lowcock.
New York, 16 November As deliveredThank you, Mr. President.On 23 October, I warned the Security Council that a grave economic crisis and escalating conflict had pushed Yemen closer to famine than ever before.Shortly after that briefing, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, or FEWSNet, released a new alert. FEWSNet, which is supported by the United States, is one of the leading providers of early warning and analysis on acute food insecurity.
Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C., 30 October 2018As deliveredThank you, Maureen.I do feel honoured to be here at SAIS today. Thank you for inviting me.I admire your commitment to developing the next generation of leaders in international affairs.We live in a world where pretty much everyone can see pretty much everything almost everywhere, pretty much all the time. Everything and everyone is inter-connected.
New York, 29 October 2018As delivered Mr President,I concluded my briefing to you last month with a question: would the agreement reached between the Russian Federation and Turkey on Idleb provide only a moment of respite, or would it represent the start of a more stable future for millions of civilians in that part of the country?
New York, 23 October 2018As delivered Thank you, Mr. President.On 21 September, I warned you we were losing the fight against famine in Yemen.Since then, the situation has got worse.That is why, as required in Security Council resolution 2417, which you adopted in May this year, we issued the White Note circulated late last week. In line with our obligations under your resolution, my briefing today focuses on the risk of famine.Mr President,