Deliver Humanitarian Aid

A young girl standing near tents in refugee camp in Iraq.

One of the purposes of the United Nations, as stated in its Charter, is "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character." The UN first did this in the aftermath of the Second World War on the devastated continent of Europe, which it helped to rebuild.

The Organization is now relied upon by the international community to coordinate humanitarian relief of emergencies due to natural and man-made disasters in areas beyond the relief capacity of national authorities alone.


OCHA and the UN System

"Each day I wake up in the hope of bringing about change. A change in the life of someone in need." The psychosocial camp counsellor for Atma IDP camp, herself displaced since 2012, visits displaced families every day to talk about their stresses and offer support to children who have lost their parents. ?OCHA

The (OCHA) of the UN Secretariat is responsible for coordinating responses to emergencies. It does this through the , whose members include the UN system entities most responsible for providing emergency relief. A coordinated, system-wide approach to humanitarian relief is essential in providing assistance quickly and efficiently to those in need.

OCHAs mandate stems from of December 1991, which states: "The leadership role of the Secretary-General is critical and must be strengthened to ensure better preparation for, as well as rapid and coherent response to, natural disasters and other emergencies. This should be achieved through coordinated support for prevention and preparedness measures and the optimal utilization of, inter alia, an inter-agency standing committee, consolidated appeals, a central emergency revolving fund and a register of stand-by capacities."


Why the CERF allocation was needed, and how the funds have helped people in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. ?CERF

The UN , managed by OCHA, is one of the fastest and most effective ways to support rapid humanitarian response for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflict. CERF receives voluntary contributions year-round to provide immediate funding for life-saving humanitarian action anywhere in the world.


UN entities with a primary responsibility for delivering humanitarian aid

The (UNDP), the (UNHCR), the (UNICEF), the (WFP) and the (UNFPA) have primary roles in the delivery of relief assistance.

The (WHO) coordinates the response to humanitarian health emergencies.


Coordinating at the national level

The (UNDP) is responsible for operational activities for natural disaster mitigation, prevention and preparedness.

When emergencies occur, coordinate relief and rehabilitation efforts at the national level.

Development doesn't stop during crisis|

Helping refugees

The (UNHCR) emerged in the wake of World War II to help Europeans displaced by that conflict. The agency leads and coordinates international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.

The General Assembly created the (UNRWA) to provide emergency relief to some 750,000 Palestine refugees, who had lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. Today, some are eligible for UNRWA services.

The UN General Assembly hosted a on 19 September 2016 to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach.

UNHCR: "What you need to be warm by Neil Gaiman

Helping children

Since its beginning, has strived to reach as many children as possible with effective, low-cost solutions to counter the biggest threats to their survival. UNICEF also consistently urges governments and warring parties to act more effectively to protect children.

The C the CCCs C are the core UNICEF policy and framework for humanitarian action. They are at the heart of UNICEF's work on upholding the rights of children affected by humanitarian crises. The CCCs promote equality, transparency, responsibility and a results-oriented approach to enable predictable and timely collective humanitarian action.

What does UNICEF do for children in times of conflict?

Supporting women and girls

UNFPA, the sexual and reproductive health agency, provides in all regions with a focus on meeting the health and protection needs of women, girls and young people. We provide life-saving sexual and reproductive health services and supplies, services and coordination for the prevention and response to gender-based violence, along with integrated services for mental health and psychosocial support  and cash and voucher assistance. 

Midwives in Gaza receive supplies to ensure safe births

Feeding the hungry

The (WFP) provides relief to millions of people, who are victims of disasters. It is responsible for mobilizing food and funds for transport for all large-scale refugee-feeding operations managed by UNHCR.

The (FAO) is often called on to help farmers re-establish production following floods, outbreaks of livestock disease and similar emergencies.

The issues monthly reports on the world food situation. Special alerts identify, for Governments and relief organizations, countries threatened by food shortages.

FAO in Emergencies

Healing the sick

The (WHO) coordinates the international response to humanitarian ranging from disease outbreaks to conflicts to natural disasters. WHO is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats.

WHO's Health Emergencies Appeal 2024


Where are the UN entities delivering humanitarian aid located?


Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Based at UN Headquarters in New York City, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA, part of the UN Secretariat) in West and Central Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Southern and Eastern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Humanitarian Advisor Teams in many countries.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

is in New York City.

UNDP locations

The Americas
Asia and the Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
The Middle East

United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

is in Geneva.

UNHCR locations

The Americas
Asia and the Pacific
The Middle East and North Africa

United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF)

is in New York City, USA.

UNICEF locations


UNICEF has regional offices for , , and .

The Americas

UNICEF has a regional office for .

Asia and the Pacific

UNICEF has a regional office for  in Bangkok, Thailand, and a regional office for  in Nepal. 

Europe and Central Asia

UNICEF has a regional office for .

Middle East

UNICEF has a regional offices for the .

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA Headquarters is located in New York City, USA, and the Humanitarian Response Division is in Geneva, Switzerland. UNFPA works in more than .

UNFPA regional locations:

, Cairo, Egypt 

, Bangkok, Thailand

, Johannesburg, South Africa

, Istanbul, Turkiye

, Panama City, Panama

, Dakar, Senegal

World Food Programme (WFP)

is in Rome, Italy.

WFP locations


WFP works in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

The Americas

WFP works in the , , , , , , , , , .

Asia and the Pacific

WFP works in , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Europe and Central Asia

WFP works in , , , .

The Middle East

WFP works in , , , , , , , , and .

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

is in Rome, Italy.

FAO locations


FAO has a in Accra, Ghana, and subregional offices and country offices in Africa.

The Americas

FAO has a in Santiago, Chile which supports Member Nations by monitoring food security levels; assisting in the design and implementation of hunger-eradication strategies, laws and programmes; and promoting family farming, agricultural and rural development and climate-change adaptation policies.

Asia and the Pacific

The FAO is in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Europe and Central Asia

The FAO is in Budapest, Hungary.

The Middle East

The FAO is in Cairo, Egypt.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

is in Amman, Jordan.

UNRWA locations

World Health Organization (WHO)

is in Geneva, Switzerland

WHO locations

The Americas
Asia and the Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
The Middle East