The 'OCHA Donor Support Group' (ODSG) was established in 1998 by a small group of donors of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Having grown since, it now brings together 27 top OCHA donors in a unique informal constellation. It serves as a 'sounding board' and a source of advice on policy, management, budgetary and financial questions. The ODSG also handles key policy issues around the humanitarian system and its coordination.
From July 2013 to June 2014, the EU chaired the OCHA Donor Support Group through the Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO), with the motto: "Acting together for those in need".
Building on the work of the previous ODSG chairs, Norway and Germany, ECHO elaborated a Work Plan focusing on strengthening OCHA's field performance by looking at specific country cases and linking to the broader humanitarian reform agenda. It also focused on building up partnerships and outreach with non-ODSG members, including regional organisations. Under ECHO's chairmanship and as part of successful outreach, Turkey joined the ODSG. Furthermore, during the chair period, a first review of the implementation of OCHA's new Strategic Framework for 2014-2017 took place along with the preparations for the World Humanitarian Summit.
The European Commission is among OCHA's top five donors and remains an active participant in the Group after the end of its chairmanship. While the EU has been a strong advocate for coordinated multilateral action, it has also emphasised the importance of effective and efficient humanitarian coordination and advocacy by OCHA. Hence, the EU welcomes the forthcoming functional review of the agency and the mid-term review of its Strategic Framework 2014-17.
Picture: The EU is among the top five donors of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. © European Union/ECHO/Meran Anabtawi