The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was created in 1971 to perform a specific task - coordinating the activities of operational agencies to avoid duplication and gaps in helping and ensuring adequate and timely coordinated actions for its representation.
OCHA is a subdivision of the UN Secretariat in New York . In this regard, Kazakhstan, by joining the UN in 1992 automatically became a member state of the UN OCHA.
The main task of OCHA is to mobilize and coordinate efforts to implement an effective humanitarian action to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies, as well as protecting the rights of persons in need of assistance, and disaster preparedness and prevention activities.
Given the region's vulnerability to natural disasters and the need to strengthen regional cooperation between national authorities responsible for the prevention and elimination of consequences of natural disasters, in late 2007, OCHA Sub-regional office for Central Asia was opened in Almaty.
The office’s main task is to assist the UN Resident Coordinator in the Central Asian countries, the United Nations country teams and national office for disaster management in each of the targeted countries to improve their disaster preparedness in the region and to respond to them. The office provides regional and global humanitarian community with a systematic flow of information and will act as a regional focal point in the area of preparedness and response to disasters.
Kazakhstan is a leader in Central Asia in the creation of a national platform for disaster risk reduction. Our country stands for further consistent and comprehensive strengthening and enhancing the role of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as a guarantor of the preservation of the civilian character of humanitarian assistance. The government of Kazakhstan has well-rounded cooperation with the activities of the OCHA office in Almaty.
In the recent years of humanitarian emergency assistance of the recipient country, Kazakhstan has become a country to provide humanitarian assistance. Thus, during the period between 2010 and 2015 our country has provided humanitarian assistance to several countries (Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Cuba, Japan, and others.) with more than 20 million US dollars.
Since December 2011 Kazakhstan is a member of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group INSARAG - the global mechanism of humanitarian response.
KazAID Agency for International Cooperation in Kazakhstan, in addition to development projects will also focus on humanitarian assistance and funding. Thus, KazAID will mark the beginning of the active participation of Kazakhstan in the humanitarian community, becoming its new donor.
Humanitarian cooperation issues and coordination in the international arena were discussed during the meeting of Director of OCHA in Geneva, Mr. Rashid Khalikov with the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Kasymzhomart Tokayev, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Bozhko and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Ashikbaev held during the visit in Astana on 19-20 October 2015.