OCHA’S EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATION CENTRE FORMALLY OPENS!
Sergei Lavrov, the Minister for Foreign Affairs
of the Russian Federation, joined by Sergei Ordzhonikidze,
the Director-General of the
United Nations Office at Geneva and Gerhard
Putman-Cramer, Deputy Director of the
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) Geneva, formally opened
OCHA’s new Emergency Relief Coordination
Centre (ERCC) at a ceremony on 12 February.
In December 2005, OCHA received a donation from the Russian Federation to create the Centre, which will provide for close collaboration between internal and external actors involved in a major relief coordination effort. The Centre consists of a main task force room, a small conference room that can also be used for a second task force, and a technical room to control all the capabilities of the facility. Using the ERCC, OCHA can mount two response coordination teams simultaneously.
The ERCC provides a state-of-the-art, multimedia information management facility which can connect New York, Geneva and Field staff to coordinate OCHA’s response to a humanitarian emergency and to enhance the exchange of information between the various OCHA functional areas concerned with the coordination effort. Further, the ERCC supports Inter-Agency coordination by providing an advanced communications suite which is capable of connecting with all actors in the relief effort. Plasma screens, fifteen computers, a sophisticated video system and access to hundreds of information sources around the world give the ERCC the capability to collect, collate, depict and disseminate critical information on humanitarian emergencies worldwide.