Unicef’s Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies January 2004
The purpose is to outline UNICEF emergency response, distinguishing between the full spectrum of activities that UNICEF may undertake, in collaboration with national, UN and NGO partners, in the course of an emergency and those commitments that UNICEF will deliver in the first six to eight weeks of any crisis situation, through the following:
UNICEF will respond throughout the phases of an emergency. In the first six – eight weeks of a crisis there are six priority areas for UNICEF intervention. Once this initial emergency response is well established, other activities may be introduced.
In the first six to eight weeks following the outbreak of a crisis, UNICEF will work with partners to meet the following commitments:
To fulfil these initial emergency response commitments, UNICEF will cooperate with national governmental and non-governmental bodies and other international partners, with an emphasis on community capacity building from the onset.
Beyond the initial response, country offices may address other elements of the core commitments to children in emergency situations. It is particularly important as the situation evolves that UNICEF consider the transition to national ownership and leadership and support the building of national systems.
Operational commitments have been developed in the areas of communication and fund raising, security and operations (human resources, information technology, finance and administration and supply and logistics) to provide the appropriate systems support for meeting the programme commitments.
In the first six to eight weeks, UNICEF will have the following resources and capacity in support of timely programmatic interventions:
Enclosed as annex 1 is a detailed outline of the guiding principles, operating approaches, programme and operational CCCs.
To fulfil these core commitments, different parts of the organization are to undertake the following key activities from the onset of an emergency or in preparation for one:
Resources must be available to allow the organization to meet these core commitments, particularly in the first six to eight weeks of a crisis. Donor resources appealed for through an inter-agency or stand-alone appeal are in almost all cases not available in the first few days of the emergency. Country representatives must therefore exercise judgement to realign country resources and seek additional resources to address these Initial Emergency Response commitments. The following options are available in the order presented:
EMOPS in consultation with the DED and relevant sections will initiate discussions to explore the possibility of increasing the EPF ceiling in the coming biennium and establishing clear criteria for loan eligibility and reimbursement.
Additional ways of mobilizing resources
In the last few years, UNICEF has borrowed funds from the UN-OCHA managed Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF) for immediate response. As donor funds come in, the loan is reimbursed within 6-12 months. UNICEF will continue to utilise CERF loans as appropriate.
As approved by the RO and subject to the availability of funds, COs may utilize resources from the 5 per cent Regional Contingency Budget for administrative support requirements.
Annex 1: Principles and Core Commitments
Programme Core Commitments
Operational Core Commitments
1 Reference should be made to the Core Commitments for Child Protection
2 Reference should be made to the Core Commitments for HIV/AIDS.
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