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Humanitarian Assistance

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Chapter Summary

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) focuses on three main activities: first, coordinating humanitarian operations (main activities) of UN operational agencies, second, elaborating and formulating humanitarian strategies and third, representing humanitarian issues in political bodies, notably the Security Council. The major humanitarian relief operations of the UN in Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda during the 1990s have shown that humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies and especially in war situations may be confronted by limits that make it difficult to carry out a humanitarian mandate and can even have counter-productive consequences. Today, the UN's humanitarian assistance is thus part of a wider UN response system that focuses on sustainable peace-building and tries to establish integrated missions at country level to ensure coherence of political, security, development, human rights, rule of law, recovery and humanitarian efforts.

Keywords: Humanitarian Assistance; OCHA; Rwanda; Security Council; UN



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