The overriding priority in any humanitarian response is to save lives and minimize serious harm, through meeting the most urgent humanitarian needs. UNHCR’s Policy on Emergency Preparedness and Response sets out UNHCR’s internal mechanisms for emergency preparedness – such as risk management and contingency planning – and response – including when and how an emergency is declared, coordination arrangements and support mechanisms.
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UNHCR country operations must work on emergency preparedness: Risk monitoring, implementation of preparedness actions, and scenario-based contingency planning.
The overarching goal of UNHCR’s emergency response is to protect and empower those forced to flee their homes, especially the most vulnerable.
Meeting the basic needs of those forced to flee their homes in an accountable and participatory way is essential to save lives in an emergency.
Strategic leadership, streamlined coordination, sharing of information and an inclusive approach to partnership are critical to an effective emergency response.
An emergency response cannot be carried out without a strong UNHCR operation in place with effective services supporting the response.