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Day 52 – Q 3.Which global agencies play prominent roles during natural disasters? Explain with the help of suitable examples.

3. Which global agencies play prominent roles during natural disasters? Explain with the help of suitable examples. 

प्राकृतिक आपदाओं के दौरान कौन सी वैश्विक एजेंसियां प्रमुख भूमिका निभाती हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की मदद से समझाओ।


Disaster management is a complex process involving international, national and local organisations each with a distinct role to play. To respond to disaster situations a coordinated effort is required.


UN related agencies involved in disaster management

  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is a United Nations (UN) body formed in December 1991. The agency assists in disaster assessments and relief management. It also advises on hazard risk assessment, mitigation planning and implementation.
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) offers technical advice on the reduction of vulnerability and monitors and advises in food production.
  • UN- Habitat: advises on settlement planning that will reduce risk and on post-disaster reconstruction.
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York, incorporates disaster mitigation in developmental planning and also provides financial aid for technical assistance for disaster management. It offers administrative support to resident coordinator and advises on flood loss prevention, mitigation and management through agencies such as UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
  • UNESCO in Paris, funds research in disaster mitigation and strengthening of heritage structures against flood and earthquake damage. It is supportive of flood management programmes and runs a publications programme.
  • The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) assists refugees through camps, financial grants and other assistance.
  • The WFP or World Food Programme provides targeted food aid, sometimes linked to ‘food for work’ programme for construction of flood protection structures and coordinates pre and post disaster emergency food aid.
  • The WHO or World Health Organisation provides assistance in post-disaster, rapid response. It promotes ‘health cities’ programmes and is supportive of disaster mitigation measures.
  • The WMO or World Meteorological Organisation provides technical guidance, training and coordination to the national weather services to upgrade their forecasting capabilities for the weather and climate related disasters.

Other than UN:

  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest humanitarian organization coordinates and directs international assistance to victims of natural and technological disasters, to refugees and in health emergencies.
  • Rehabilitation International (RI) is a global network of expert professionals who work to empower people with disabilities. It advocates for inclusion of people with disabilities in climate change and disaster management planning.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates foundation supports relief efforts in response to rapid-onset natural disasters such as cyclones, earthquakes, and disease outbreaks like Ebola.


When a major disaster strikes, it becomes very difficult for the country to manage the rescue and relief work and consequent rehabilitation on its own. In such a situation, the assistance of international agencies is required, particularly in developing countries. With the increasing recognition of the importance of disaster related matters, more and more agencies are now providing aid in this field.

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