Statement by Ambassador Berger on Occasion of the Launching of OCHAs Annual Plan and Budget for 2011

Jan 21, 2011

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At the outset let me thank you, Undersecretary-General, for presenting to us OCHA´s 2011 annual Plan and Budget.

2010 was a year of unprecedented humanitarian mega-crises: OCHA and the humanitarian community were challenged in a way the world has never seen before. Also OCHA was stretched to the limit and had to prove its capacities to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to millions of people. Under often catastrophic circumstances, OCHA did well - and that is why it deserves our continued strong support.

We do not know which new challenges OCHA and the humanitarian community will face in 2011. But considerable challenges remain, not only in continuing the humanitarian response efforts in Haiti, Pakistan and other affected regions, but also with regard to the further strengthening of the UN humanitarian response, namely preparedness, system-wide-learning, common needs assessments, improvement of humanitarian access and the leadership role of Humanitarian Coordinators. We would like to commend OCHA's Strategic Plan for 2011 for being ambitious enough to name these challenges.

OCHA´s Strategic Plan for 2011 also reflects OCHA's commitment to efficiency, flexibility and transparency. Germany fully supports this approach and encourages OCHA to implement the Strategic Plan to the maximum extent possible in order to strengthen OCHA´s humanitarian leadership. We are looking forward to joining the ODSG troika this summer to work with OCHA even closer on these issues.

Despite our own budgetary constraints, Germany will keep its core contribution to OCHA for 2011 stable.

Let me close by saying that OCHA deserves not only the continued support from traditional donors – the humanitarian challenges we face require additional financial contributions and  political support also from new donors.  We encourage all countries in a position to do so to support OCHA and contribute to its important work. 

Germany will continue to fully support you and the whole OCHA team also in 2011, the year, in which OCHA will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

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