Humanitarian Health Action

Questions and answers about WHO's role in Humanitarian Health Action

The Foundations: partnerships

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee – Established in June 1992 with the purpose to strengthen humanitarian assistance, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) is a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key UN and non-UN humanitarian partners. Under the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator, the IASC develops humanitarian policies, agrees on a clear division of responsibility for the various aspects of humanitarian assistance, identifies and addresses gaps in response, and advocates for effective application of humanitarian principles. WHO is represented in the IASC by its Director-General.

The Global Humanitarian Platform – In July 2006, UN agencies, NGOs, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, the IOM, and World Bank agreed to convene a forum (GHP) and bring together the three main families of the humanitarian community. The GHP aims at enhancing effective humanitarian action by maximizing the complementarity of different mandates. The GHP will develop “Principles of Partnership”, which will include diversity, mutual respect, responsibility, and transparency, and support their implementation at country level. The GHD agenda privileges a) accountability to the beneficiary populations, b) the capacity of local actors; c) safety and security of humanitarian staff; and d) situations of transition. The GHP meets annually and a Steering Committee oversees the process and sets the strategic directions.