Accountability to Affected Population

Accountability to Affected Population (AAP) is the active commitment of humanitarians to ensure communities themselves have the power and influence to determine and act on their own priorities for preparedness, response and recovery.

Cash and Voucher Assistance

CVA is the umbrella term for humanitarian cash and vouchers. The terms ‘cash assistance’ or ‘cash’ are used when referring specifically to the use of cash transfer

Central Emergency Response Plan

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike.

As an essential enabler of global humanitarian action, CERF’s Rapid Response window allows country teams to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges.


Clusters are groups of humanitarian organizations (UN and non-UN) working in the main sectors of humanitarian action, e.g. shelter or health. They are created when clear humanitarian needs exist within a sector, when there are numerous actors within sectors, and when national authorities need coordination support.

Country-Based Pooled Funds

CBPF allow donors to pool their contributions into single, unearmarked funds to support local humanitarian efforts. This enables humanitarian partners in crisis-affected countries to deliver timely, coordinated and principled assistance.

CBPF are established when a new emergency occurs or when an existing crisis deteriorates. They are managed by OCHA under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator and in close consultation with the humanitarian community.

Emergency Relief Coordinator

The ERC is the most senior UN official dedicated to humanitarian affairs. The ERC reports directly to the United Nations Secretary-General and serves as a focal point for governments, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organisations on humanitarian issues. In this capacity the ERC is often called before the UN Security Council in response to humanitarian emergencies.

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence (GBV) is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females. Acts of GBV violate a number of universal human rights protected by international instruments and conventions. Many — but not all — forms of GBV are illegal and criminal acts in national laws and policies. The nature and extent of specific types of GBV vary across cultures, countries, and regions. Examples include, but are not limited to sexual violence, including sexual exploitation/abuse and forced prostitution; domestic violence; trafficking; forced/early marriage; harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, honour killings, and widow inheritance

Gender-Age Marker

The IASC Gender with Age Marker (GAM) is a project design and monitoring tool that helps users to design and implement inclusive programs that respond to gender, age, and disability-related differences.

Grand Bargain

The Grand Bargain, launched during the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May 2016, is a unique agreement between some of the largest donors and humanitarian organizations who have committed to get more means into the hands of people in need and to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the humanitarian action.

Humanitarian Coordinator

The HC is the senior-most United Nations official in a country experiencing a humanitarian emergency. The Humanitarian Coordinator is appointed by the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and responsible for leading and coordinating the efforts of humanitarian organizations (both UN and non-UN) with a view to ensuring that they are principled, timely, effective and efficient, and contribute to longer-term recovery.

Humanitarian Country Team

The HCT is a strategic and operational decision-making and oversight forum established and led by the Humanitarian Coordinator. Composition includes representatives from the UN, international NGOs, and the Red Cross/ Red Crescent Movement. Agencies that are also designated cluster leads should represent the clusters as well as their respective organizations. The HCT makes decisions to ensure that country-level humanitarian action is well-coordinated, principled, timely, effective and efficient. It also ensures that adequate prevention, preparedness, risk and security management measures are in place and functioning. The HCT leads the Humanitarian Programme Cycle.

Internally Displaced Person

According to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, internally displaced persons (also known as "IDPs") are "persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized border."

Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee is the longest-standing and highest-level humanitarian coordination forum of the UN system, bringing together the executive heads of 18 UN and non-UN organizations to ensure coherence of preparedness and response efforts, formulate policy, and agree on priorities for strengthened humanitarian action. The IASC was established in June 1992, following a UN General Assembly resolution.

Inter-Cluster/Sector Coordination Group (ICCG/ISCG)

The group of IASC Cluster/Sector Coordinators assigned by Lead/Co-Lead Agencies tasked with facilitating cooperation among sectors/clusters to assure coherence in achieving common objectives, avoiding duplication and ensuring areas of need are prioritized. Inter-cluster coordination takes place at the national and sub-national level, to coordinate the implementation of the response through each step of the humanitarian programme cycle. A representative of OCHA serves as the Chair.

IPC Acute Food Insecurity Classification

The IPC Acute Food Insecurity (IPC AFI) classification provides strategically relevant information to decision makers that focuses on short-term objectives to prevent, mitigate or decrease severe food insecurity that threatens lives or livelihoods. Among other information, the IPC Acute Food Insecurity classification provides differentiation between different levels of severity of acute food insecurity, classifying units of analysis in five distinct phases: (1) Minimal/None, (2) Stressed, (3) Crisis, (4) Emergency, (5) Catastrophe/Famine. Each of these phases has important and distinct implications for where and how best to intervene, and therefore influences priority response objectives.

Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework

The Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework provides humanitarian actors with a common analytical framework and system to gather, structure, and synthesize information regarding the intersectoral needs of populations in crisis. The JIAF serves to inform strategic decision-making, response analysis, and response planning through a holistic, people-centered, and inclusive joint intersectoral analysis system that is comprehensive and methodologically rigorous. Through applying the JIAF, actors can estimate the magnitude and severity of humanitarian needs as well as develop a common narrative around the context, shocks, and drivers of the crisis. This analysis can support projecting of how the severity and magnitude of needs may evolve within the planning cycle.

Official Development Assistance

The ODA is defined by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) as government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries. The DAC adopted ODA as the “gold standard” of foreign aid in 1969 and it remains the main source of financing for development aid.

People affected

Based on the 2016 IASC guidance on Humanitarian Population Figures, the definition for Affected People include all those whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted as a direct result of the shock or stress. Characteristics of the category People Affected must include:

  • being in close geographical proximity to a crisis

  • physically or emotionally impacted, including exposed to a human rights violation/protection incident

  • experiencing personal loss or loss of capital and assets as a direct result of the crisis (family member

  • house/roof, livestock or any other asset)

  • being faced with an immediate threat from a crisis

People covered

Based on the 2016 IASC guidance on Humanitarian Population Figures, the definition for “People covered” is the sub-set of people who have received a given type of assistance within a given timeframe. The estimation of the number of people covered is derived from monitoring information.

People in Need

The 2016 IASC guidance on Humanitarian Population Figures, defines People in Need as a subset of the affected population and are defined as those members:

  • whose physical security, basic rights, dignity, living conditions or livelihoods are threatened or have been disrupted, AND
  • whose current level of access to basic services, goods and social protection is inadequate to reestablish normal living conditions with their accustomed means in a timely manner without additional assistance.

This category is further broken down into sub-categories or by sector/cluster to provide additional detail about the intensity, severity or type of need (e.g., need of urgent life-saving assistance, food insecure population, people in need of shelter). The definition of People in Need will need to be monitored and adjusted over time. At the onset or continuation of a shock, needs are more likely to be centred on sustaining lives; the more protracted the crisis, the more needs will be centred on re-establishing and sustaining normal living and livelihood conditions.

People Targeted

Based on the 2016 IASC guidance on Humanitarian Population Figures, “People targeted” is a sub-set of People in Need and represents the number of people humanitarian actors aim or plan to assist. This projected number is typically smaller than the number of People in Need given: (a) it is rare that international humanitarian actors can meet all needs; (b) needs are also being addressed by actors not participating in the joint plan, including national Governments; and (c) people in need are not always accessible. The number of people targeted is usually defined once there is some idea of available resources and access constraints.

People Reached

Based on the 2016 IASC guidance on Humanitarian Population Figures, “People Reached” include those who have received some form of assistance. Without any additional information, this figure says little about how long and how well this assistance covers the needs of the affected population.


This list is not comprehensive, it includes the names of all United Nations Secretariat departments and offices as well as United Nations agencies, funds and programmes featured in this report. For a full list of entities in the United Nations System, please refer to

It also includes acronyms for common terminology used in this report as well as external organizations if they are not spelt out within the text of the report.

United Nations (UN) Secretariat

DCO Development Coordination Office

DESA Department of Economic and Social Affairs

DOS Department of Operational Support

DPO Department of Peace Operations

DPPA Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OCT Office of Counter-Terrorism

ODA Office for Disarmament Affairs

OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

SRSG/CAAC Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

SRSG/SVC Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

SRSG/VAC Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

UNMAS United Nations Mine Action Service

UNDRR United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Specialized agencies

FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development

ILO International Labour Organization

IMF International Monetary Fund

ITU International Telecommunication Union

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization

WHO World Health Organization

WMO World Meteorological Organization

World Bank Group

Related Organizations or bodies

IASC Inter-agency Standing Committee

ICC International Criminal Court

IOM International Organization for Migration

WTO World Trade Organization

External Organizations

OECD-DAC Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Development Assistance Committee

OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe