The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) brings together international organizations working to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need as a result of natural disasters, conflictrelated emergencies, global food crises and pandemics. By coordinating activities, members improve overall service delivery, share resources, pool analysis and disseminate best practices. Participants use the forum to agree on system-wide policies to achieve a better overall response, while respecting organizations ’ individual mandates. Established by UN General Assembly resolution 46/182 in 1991, the IASC is the only decisionmaking group that includes UN agencies, the World Bank, the International Organization for Migration and other humanitarian organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and nongovernmental organizations. In other words, the IASC includes many of the largest humanitarian organizations that account for the majority of humanitarian assistance distributed worldwide. Organizations take part in the IASC as members from the UN family, or standing invitees (mostly non-UN organizations). What are the IASC’s priorities? Every year, the IASC agrees on a set of priorities. In 2011 and 2012, these priorities focus on strengthening the international humanitarian response systems in five key areas: leadership and coordination; accountability for performance; accountability to affected people; building national capacity for preparedness; and advocacy and communications. What is the IASC’s structure? Coordination in the IASC takes place at different levels. The IASC Principals are the heads of the organizations that form the IASC, while the IASC Working Group brings together the emergency directors or other directors of the IASC organizations. In addition, representatives from the humanitarian community in Geneva and New York meet informally to share information on current emergencies and to discuss new developments, such as the use of new technologies in humanitarian response
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