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close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUsing the Handbook
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentAbbreviations
View the documentUNHCR's Mission Statement
Open this folder and view contents1. Aim and Principles of Response
Open this folder and view contents2. Protection
Open this folder and view contents3. Emergency Management
Open this folder and view contents4. Contingency Planning
Open this folder and view contents5. Initial Assessment, Immediate Response
Open this folder and view contents6. Operations Planning
Open this folder and view contents7. Coordination and Site Level Organization
Open this folder and view contents8. Implementing Arrangements
Open this folder and view contents9. External Relations
Open this folder and view contents10. Community Services and Education
Open this folder and view contents11. Population Estimation and Registration
Open this folder and view contents12. Site Selection, Planning and Shelter
Open this folder and view contents13. Commodity Distribution
Open this folder and view contents14. Health
Open this folder and view contents15. Food and Nutrition
Open this folder and view contents16. Water
Open this folder and view contents17. Environmental Sanitation
Open this folder and view contents18. Supplies and Transport
Open this folder and view contents19. Voluntary Repatriation
Open this folder and view contents20. Administration, Staffing and Finance
Open this folder and view contents21. Communications
Open this folder and view contents22. Coping with Stress
Open this folder and view contents23. Staff Safety
Open this folder and view contents24. Working with the Military
View the documentAppendix 1 - Catalogue of Emergency Response Resources
View the documentAppendix 2 - Toolbox
View the documentAppendix 3 - Memoranda
View the documentAppendix 4 - Glossary

Appendix 3 - Memoranda

Note: These Memoranda of Understanding are updated from time to time. The copies in this handbook are valid at the time of going to press. The latest version of these Memoranda should always be consulted.



1. The High Commissioner for Refugees (hereinafter referred to as UNHCR) and the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (hereinafter referred to as UNDP) have agreed that existing agreements on cooperation between their two organizations need revision taking into consideration the changing operational requirements of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

2. Building upon the experience gained through implementation of the agreement of November 1987 on "cooperation with regard to development activities affecting refugees and returnees" and joint work programmes subsequent to this agreement, the present framework affirms the commitment of both parties to promote a fresh culture of institutional collaboration, with particular attention to countries in special circumstances where a humanitarian crisis may be impending, is ongoing, or abating within a phase of recovery.

3. This Framework recognizes the respective mandates and responsibilities of each organization, and the need to build on the comparative advantages of each in arrangements for cooperation that provide added value both for the beneficiaries and for the discharge of these mandates and responsibilities. In this context, UNDP shall associate the special funds and programmes administered under its authority in support of the Framework.

4. In working to give effect to the present agreement, UNHCR and UNDP seek to reaffirm their support to United Nations system collaboration as provided for in General Assembly resolutions as well as decisions of the governing bodies of the two organizations. Mindful of the attributions of other organizations of the United Nations system, and in particular the members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), UNHCR and UNDP will support the mechanism for inter-agency coordination provided by the IASC, under the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC). UNDP and UNHCR will also actively support and coordinate their efforts within the relevant frameworks established by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), and the Consultative Committee on Programme and Operational Questions (CCPOQ). At the country level, UNDP and UNHCR will promote and support the efficient and effective utilization of the United Nations resident coordinator system as well as inter-agency mechanisms such as the United Nations Security Management Team and the United Nations Disaster Management Team.


5. The principal objectives of collaboration between UNHCR and UNDP shall be to:

a) enhance early warning of the possible displacement of populations which might lead to refugee outflows with a view to devising early and timely preventive/remedial responses to critical problems, in both home and potential asylum countries;

b) address the negative effect of large inflows of refugees on hosting areas, taking into account their impact on local economic, social and environmental resources;

c) promote, at the community level, post-conflict recovery, peace-building and reconciliation in war-torn countries with large displaced populations; ensure that the reintegration of returnees is planned and supported in an effective and well-coordinated manner, providing sustainable basic services and economic opportunities, thereby reinforcing the linkages between the needs of returnees and other groups in the areas of return;

d) foster an early and smooth phase-out of humanitarian assistance in favour of sustainable basic services and local development in areas that have suffered from severe damage and dislocation as a result of conflict; and

e) work jointly to mobilize national and international resources for measures designed to attain the above objectives.


6. The following basic principles shall guide UNHCR/UNDP cooperation:

a) Functional: cooperation shall be based on a pragmatic, mutual understanding of the concerns and mandates of the two organizations; both agencies have responsibility to ensure that their headquarters and country staff are aware of available opportunities for cooperation, its scope and orientation;

b) Complementary: country representatives of both organizations with the support of their respective headquarters, are encouraged to devise creative, complementary and mutually reinforcing operational initiatives at the country level;

c) Decentralized: flexible and practical operational procedures, with adequate delegated authority to country representatives for planning and management, will ensure that opportunities for cooperation are seized and allow for the necessary operational variations;

d) Verifiable: the cooperation shall yield tangible results to beneficiaries, with a demonstrated added value to the work of both organizations in pursuance of the objectives stated in this framework; and

e) Cost-effective: the cooperation shall be managed in a cost-effective manner with administrative costs justified against results.


7. The scope of cooperation will vary depending on the operational context. Collaboration to cope with emergency calls for a different set of responses than those that may be needed to help a country recover from crisis. The elements of cooperation that are identified will be supported by management tools which will be jointly developed as required.

8. UNHCR and UNDP will aim to harmonize humanitarian and development action at three separate but interrelated levels:

a) Country specific: through situation-specific operational arrangements developed on a case by case basis in the light of the opportunities and constraints encountered in each context;

b) Inter-country: through operational cooperation covering both asylum countries and countries of origin of the refugees; and

c) Thematic: through a policy dialogue aimed at promoting conceptual and operational links between relief and development.


9. In order to advance and facilitate operational cooperation, UNHCR and UNDP will:

a) share information on the possible or actual movement of refugees, displaced persons and returnees, consult each other throughout the process of planning and implementing their respective programmes and jointly evaluate activities related to prevention, impact on host communities and reintegration;

b) jointly participate in the formulation of a strategic framework for recovery and the United nations Country Strategy Note (CSN), ensuring that they properly reflect viable solutions to humanitarian crisis; UNHCR and UNDP shall align their prevention and rehabilitation assistance with the basic policy and assistance principles laid down in these frameworks;

c) undertake joint planning and programming missions aimed at strengthening the operational linkages between the two agencies in all work concerned with prevention, host country impact and reintegration; ensure that needs assessment is carried out in consultation with refugee leaders, communities in areas of return where appropriate, local government bodies, NGOs and other civil society organizations;

d) agree on the form and content of consultations to be held with national authorities in order to give effect to joint strategies and to implement programmes in the above-mentioned areas;

e) jointly invite donors, United Nations system partners and NGOs for periodic briefings and consultations on specific joint strategies, programmes and projects;

f) establish a joint approach to the effective utilization of United Nations Volunteers, under which initial assignments to UNHCR activities may be followed by a transfer to UNDP field-based programmes;

g) coordinate their approach to the development of civil society and notable with respect to the role of international NGOs and to capacity-building among national NGOs;

h) ensure, where appropriate and when resource availability permits, that UNDP support to local capacity building and UNHCR-funded local settlement and reintegration projects are mutually supportive and sustainable;

i) collaborate in joint reporting to the national authorities and institute periodic briefings to local donor representatives on programme progress and constraints, policy and sectoral issues pertaining to the orientation of aid for prevention, post-conflict recovery and peace-building, so as to generate understanding and additional support in the interest of the overall effort, and

j) collaborate in identification of priority needs addressing the development dimension of emergencies which are complementary to UNHCR humanitarian assistance and which are eligible for financing from UNDP's TRAC line 1.1.3 resources.

10. Specific situations of cooperation are indicated below for the three principal operational areas, the first aiming at preventing a displacement crisis, the second at responding to the refugee impact on hosting areas, and the third at the reintegration of returnees and rehabilitation of communities and areas of return.


11. UNHCR and UNDP shall:

a) given the complexity of early warning analysis, agree on a limited set of simple base-line indicators, including push and pull factors, in areas jointly identified as high risk situations; such indicators should be monitored on a continuous basis;

b) share assessments of risks of impending forced population displacement;

c) develop strategies in countries identified as being at risk, so as to address the causes of potential displacement without jeopardizing the fundamental right of persons to seek and enjoy asylum;

d) agree on joint initiatives to halt and reverse the deterioration of high risk situations, with clearly established roles and responsibilities, based on their mandates and comparative advantages, specifically in regard to resource and programme delivery requirements;

e) identify ways and means to strengthen local capacities for crisis management and mitigation, including conflict and dispute settlement at the local level, strengthening of judicial systems and the human rights regime, to the extent humanitarian concerns are affected;

f) where necessary, seek regional approaches to preventive action that address potential displacement; and

g) where preventive action of a political nature may be required, jointly consult the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

Refugee impact on hosting areas

12. UNHCR and UNDP shall: strengthen the operational linkages between refugee aid and development by jointly developing, in cooperation with national authorities and local communities, a comprehensive programme for support to receiving areas affected by massive influx of refugees and strengthening local and regional capacities to cope with and recover from refugee crisis.

13. The UNHCR Representative shall: bring to UNDP's attention any adverse consequences of refugee concentrations on local communities.

14. The UNDP Resident Representative shall: in consultation with UNHCR and the national authorities, propose and formulate programmes designed to meet the special requirements of local populations in areas exposed to the large-scale inflow of refugees including rehabilitation needs after the repatriation of the refugees.

Reintegration and rehabilitation

15. UNHCR and UNDP shall:

a) strengthen the operational linkages between the two organizations to ensure that the reintegration of returning refugees and the rehabilitation of receiving areas including basic services, are undertaken in a sustainable manner;

b) seek a common and mutually reinforcing approach to reintegration support in returnee areas, and agree upon appropriate action in relation to issues of conflict-resolution and sustainable development, aiming at cost-effectiveness in interventions, efficiency in coordination as well as added-value through the combined humanitarian and development effort;

c) in consultation with local authorities and implementing partners, jointly assess the human development situation in areas of reintegration, including identification of constraints to reintegration such as mines, land and property rights and opportunities for reintegrating skilled returnees in public services such as health and education; UNHCR shall make available information on the extent to which skills development has taken place in refugee camps prior to repatriation; and

d) coordinate their approach to and agree on division of responsibilities in relation to the reintegration needs of internally displaced persons in those cases where UNHCR is working with internally displaced persons.

16. The UNHCR Representative shall:

a) invite UNDP to participate in the initial situation analysis and needs assessment of areas to which refugees are expected to return. The joint assessment shall serve as a basis for collaborative action to facilitate reintegration focused on short and medium-term impact; and

b) ensure that UNHCR's reintegration strategy is developed with substantive inputs from UNDP, so as to enhance the development impact of UNHCR's initial reintegration support (including Quick Impact Projects, (QIPs)) and ensure its sustainability.

17. The UNDP Resident Representative shall:

a) undertake an analysis of local development management capacity, including the allocation of local resources for priority needs and for a sustained recovery;

b) consult with UNHCR in the identification and formulation of UNDP development activities so as to reflect appropriate follow-up and/or linkages with reintegration assistance; and

c) liaise with UNHCR on its approach to the reintegration of refugees, ex-combatants and internally displaced persons, so as to develop a common understanding of the nature and level of support required for the community reinsertion of the different categories of such populations where UNHCR is working with such populations.


18. Programmes aiming at the prevention of refugee situations, and sustainability of projects targeting host country communities, reintegration action and area development schemes require substantial additional and complementary resources to those provided under UNHCR's core funds or to resources available under UNDP's country programmes and TRAC allocations, including TRAC line 1.1.3, assigned for "Countries in Special Development Situations".

19. To the extent feasible, when seeking extra-budgetary resources for the purposes of such programmes, the two agencies shall jointly approach donors as early as possible on the basis of agreed arrangements for implementation and programme delivery.

20. UNHCR and UNDP shall:

a) consult with the government and actively use fora such as Round Table and Consultative Group Meetings, as well as regional or local donor meetings, to attract and mobilize resources for jointly identified programmes in the area of displacement prevention, impact on refugee host communities and reintegration; and

b) cooperate actively in the elaboration of Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeals and possible future expansion, and ensure that the activities contemplated are consistent with the overall strategy of external support.


21. In order to implement joint strategies of assistance to countries in special circumstances, as outlined in the preceding sections, mechanisms and procedures for regular and close consultation between the two agencies need to be systematized and reinvigorated, at headquarters and at the country level.

22. UNHCR and UNDP shall carry out joint reviews and lessons learnt exercises both at headquarters and country level as a general feature of their cooperation. The two organizations shall apply the findings for the further refinement of collaborative instruments and activities and shall coordinate and, as appropriate, collaborate in the development of joint training programmes for field-based management staff. UNHCR and UNDP shall also seek to contribute to the development of, and participate in, inter-agency training programmes such as those provided by the ILO Turin Centre on United Nations system coordination, the Disaster Management Training Programme (DMTP) and the United Nations Staff College Project.

23. UNHCR and UNDP shall work towards a common approach to conditions of service, security and welfare of field personnel and shall arrange for the exchange of field staff through loans and secondments, bringing the mutual experience of each organization to bear on the activities of the other.

24. UNHCR and UNDP shall: at the country level

a) appoint a senior staff member within each office to act as focal point for the implementation of the Framework at the country level and, as appropriate, to support sub-regional and inter-country initiatives undertaken with the Framework. The focal points shall operate as a team and co-opt such other agency staff in their work as the situation may require, reporting jointly to the UNDP Resident Representative and the UNHCR Representative on a regular basis;

b) develop a joint operational plan of action to implement the Framework in the context of country-specific requirements and agree on task management arrangements for the effective formulation, implementation and monitoring of joint endeavours;

c) in support of the above and as warranted, establish joint offices in areas of repatriation to facilitate coordination of initiatives and the efficient transition of operations between the two organizations in support of sustainable area-based reintegration programmes; at the headquarters level

d) conduct an annual senior level meeting to consider and provide guidance on general policy issues the inter-country ramifications of refugee displacement, and the implications of any joint initiatives in the field of prevention and reintegration;

e) conduct quarterly meetings of the UNHCR/UNDP Working Group to review issues of common concern regarding operational collaboration and to prepare the annual senior-level meeting; and

f) establish focal points within each organization to jointly take stock of achievements and constraints, to identify opportunities for collaboration and propose initiatives in this regard, to support country-level formulation and implementation of an operational plan of action and to monitor progress in implementing the present agreement.


25. This Framework shall become valid from the date of its signature. It will be the subject of a general review and evaluation in December 1998.

26. This Framework supersedes the agreement of November 1987 entitled "UNHCR/UNDP Cooperation with Regard to Development Activities Affecting Refugees and Returnees".

27. Provisions previously agreed between UNHCR and UNDP relating to financial and personnel arrangements will remain valid until such time as they may be amended by separate agreements.

Geneva, 10 April 1997

James Gustave Speth
Administrator of the United Nations
Development Programme

Sadako Ogata
United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)


1. This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Untied Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is aimed at encouraging and facilitating systematic, predictable, cooperative action between the two organizations. It seeks to build on the recognized comparative advantages of each organization and to establish operational modalities of cooperation which result in "value-added" elements.

2. Underlying this MOU is the recognition of the respective mandates and responsibilities of each organization.

3. UNHCR and UNICEF agree that their joint and separate actions on behalf of children (whether with refugee, displaced or returnee populations, as well as local populations affected by the presence of displaced persons or refugees), shall be based upon principles contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in international instruments governing the rights of refugees and in other human rights instruments, as well as upon the related policies enunciated by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme and the UNICEF Executive Board.


4. This MOU applies in countries where UNICEF has an established office or programme and covers activities in favour of the following beneficiary populations:

i) refugees;

ii) returnees;

iii) internally displaced persons;

iv) local populations in the country of origin, affected by the presence of internally displaced persons or returnees; or in the country of asylum affected by the presence of refugees.


5. The roles and responsibilities of UNHCR and UNICEF in relation to the population groups listed in (4) above, while distinct, are sometimes inter-related. Both UNHCR and UNICEF seek to assist national authorities with regard to the well-being of children.

(i) Refugees

6. According to the Statute of its Office, UNHCR is mandated to provide international protection to refugees and to promote durable solutions to their problems. UNHCR is ultimately responsible for the international protection and welfare of refugees, which may include the provision of assistance, in cooperation with host governments and in line with their international obligations.

7. UNICEF, for its part, has been called upon by its Executive Board (Resolution 1992/21) "to continue providing emergency assistance to refugee and displaced women and children, particularly those living in areas affected by armed conflict and natural disasters... in accordance with its mandate" and "in collaboration with other relevant United Nations Agencies and the international community." UNICEF's assistance to refugees, agreed in each case with the host government and with UNHCR, is selective and subject to the availability of resources over and above those committed in its Master Plan of Operations for the relevant country programme.

(ii) Returnees

8. UNHCR and UNICEF will consult with each other to ensure complementarity of activities for returnees.

9. The involvement of UNICEF with returnee children and women could be part, or an extension, of a regular country programme; such involvement may require undertaking new programme activities within the UNICEF-assisted country programme of cooperation. Normally, UNICEF actions, whether through reprogramming of existing resources or through mobilization of supplementary resources, are determined through consultation with government and other national partners.

10. UNHCR's responsibility for returnees is to ensure that voluntary repatriation takes place under conditions of safety and with dignity, assisting, where needed, the return and reintegration of repatriating refugees and monitoring their safety and well-being on return. The duration and scope of UNHCR's activities in favour of returnees are limited and vary according to the specifics of each voluntary repatriation operation. UNHCR's involvement may also be determined by specific tripartite or bilateral agreements with respective countries outlining the framework of voluntary repatriation operations.

(iii) Internally displaced persons

11. The interventions of UNICEF and UNHCR in favour of internally displaced persons are usually part of a broader United Nations coordinated plan of action.

12. UNICEF will assist governments and other authorities to fulfil their obligations to protect and aid internally displaced populations. Within the context of the country programme of cooperation, UNICEF focuses capacity-building approaches on community-level activities to help women and children with special needs and to assure their integration into national programmes for the provision of essential health, education and other social services.

13. UNHCR's involvement is selective, applying to persons displaced internally for reasons that would make them of concern to UNHCR if they were outside their country. This involvement is based on a specific request of the Secretary-General or a competent principal organ of the United Nations and is influenced by the consideration of how this might contribute to the prevention and/or solution of refugee problems.

(iv) Affected local host populations

14. UNICEF, through the assistance interventions in its country programme of cooperation, will support national authorities to ensure that the needs and well-being of the local host population are addressed.

15. The involvement of UNHCR with affected local populations is selective, and normally is focused on those living within the areas of refugee influx, return of repatriating refugees or internally displaced persons of concern to UNHCR.


(i) Advocacy, promotion and strategy formulation

16. UNHCR and UNICEF will cooperate, whenever appropriate and feasible, in the advocacy and promotion of the rights and protection of children of joint concern, particularly in the following areas:

a. the right of the child to a name and nationality; the preservation of the child's identity;

b. the safety and liberty of children: the prevention of their recruitment into armed forces and groups; forced labour, torture, abduction, physical and/or sexual abuse and detention;

c. tracing, family reunification, the special concerns related to the evacuation of children and adoption.

17. Within the context of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) UNICEF and UNHCR will cooperate on the following issues:

a. promotion of implementation of the CRC;

b. organization of educational activities, e.g. seminars, training, or school-based projects, aimed at the dissemination of knowledge of the rights provided for in the CRC;

c. reporting on the implementation of the CRC to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee. UNHCR and UNICEF will facilitate the inclusion of data on refugee children in country reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

(ii) Operational activities

18. The precise mix of UNHCR's and UNICEF's operational activities will vary according to situation-specific conditions and needs. UNICEF's particular strength and contribution arises from its long-term country presence and perspective, and lies in its ability to focus on relief and development in a mutually reinforcing manner. UNHCR's challenge is to provide relief or initial reintegration assistance in such a way that it is an effective complement to or precursor of development activities.

Contingency planning

19. Both UNHCR and UNICEF contribute to coordinated U.N. emergency contingency planning, normally undertaken in full cooperation with national authorities. Within this framework, UNHCR will invite UNICEF to participate in planning for possible refugee influxes. During such planning activities, UNICEF will review with national counterparts and UNHCR ways in which its ongoing country operations may quickly be adjusted to enable UNICEF to provide emergency assistance in pre-identified sectors.

20. To enhance the effectiveness of a collaborative response to emergencies, both organizations shall keep each other informed on the development and maintenance of their emergency response capacities, such as, for example, emergency staff training and rosters, standby arrangements, material stockpiles, or development of telecommunications networks.

Assessment and monitoring

21. UNICEF and UNHCR shall jointly agree on guidelines and specific methodologies for assessing and monitoring the situation of children of joint concern and will exchange information on programmatic action to be taken.

Support to unaccompanied children

22. Typically, unaccompanied children are found both within the country of origin and in the refugee population. Within the country of origin, UNICEF will assist national authorities to develop, coordinate and apply appropriate policies, standards and strategies for the care and family reunification of unaccompanied children. UNHCR takes the lead in relation to unaccompanied children among refugee populations. The two organizations will collaborate in the further development and use of global programming guidelines and standards and will ensure the necessary operational coordination and information-sharing between operations in countries of asylum and of origin. Both agencies will coordinate with ICRC in relation to tracing and reunification activities.

23. Where special arrangements for the care of unaccompanied refugee children are warranted, UNHCR, within its responsibility for overall coordination, shall consult with UNICEF to determine how UNICEF may participate in the management and implementation of such arrangements; such assistance may be provided in the following ways:

i. undertaking assessment(s) of the situation and needs of unaccompanied children among each refugee population;

ii. assisting in the adaptation of global principles and guidelines for the care of unaccompanied children, provided in Refugee Children: Guidelines on Protection and Care (UNHCR 1994) and in Assisting in Emergencies (UNICEF 1986/1996) and, when required, developing and issuing situation-specific guidelines in consultation with other organizations directly involved in the care of such children and/or family tracing;

iii. taking responsibility for coordinating the setting up and supervision of programmes for the care of unaccompanied children and for tracing and family reunion.

24. In countries of origin, UNICEF will ensure similar consultation and cooperation with UNHCR and with national authorities to facilitate the incorporation of unaccompanied returnee children into appropriate programmes.

Promotion of psychosocial well-being

25. UNHCR and UNICEF will collaborate in the further development of guidelines and training materials for activities addressing the needs of children traumatized by exposure to armed conflict and extreme violence.

26. Where children are exposed to armed conflict, violence, abuse or other great hardship within their own countries, UNICEF will collaborate with governments and other national partners to assess the psychosocial situation of such children, to establish guidelines for care and counseling, and to implement a national programme of cooperation aimed at helping traumatized children and at the prevention of further traumatization. UNICEF support will emphasize national capacity development, community- and family-based care strategies, and appropriate professional referral for the most seriously traumatized children. UNICEF will collaborate with UNHCR to facilitate the integration of returnee children into national programmes.

27. In the case of an influx of refugees similarly exposed to traumatic events, UNHCR, in consultation with UNICEF and other relevant national institutions and NGOs, will coordinate an assessment of the psychosocial situation of refugee children and the preparation of a programme of activities to help those who are traumatized and to prevent further traumatization. Such programmes should, to the extent possible, be designed with a view to community involvement, while for very seriously traumatized children special arrangements would be needed. A decision on the most appropriate modalities for implementation and the allocation of responsibilities will be taken by UNHCR after consultation with UNICEF and other organizations directly involved. UNICEF may take responsibility, inter alia, for the provision of technical assistance and the organization of training.

Support to families and children

28. Community-based activities focusing on the general well-being of refugee children are essential to UNHCR's emergency response. In case of a major refugee emergency, this response may need to be supported by additional capacity. At the request of UNHCR, UNICEF shall assist in the design and development of programme activities to strengthen family and community coping and self-help strategies and assure as healthy and nurturing an environment as possible for children.

29. The well-being, protection and healthy development of the child are best served in a secure, caring and informed family environment. Thus UNICEF gives priority to strengthening - or reviving -the capacity of the family to care for the child, to ensuring adequate family access to food and to income (for the mother especially), to essential knowledge and coping skills. UNICEF will collaborate with UNHCR to facilitate the integration of returnee families into appropriate family-support programmes.

Basic education

30. In seeking to provide educational opportunities for refugee children, UNHCR shall draw on the expertise of UNICEF to help assess and analyze the educational status and needs of children. UNHCR and UNICEF will jointly determine how UNICEF may contribute to adapting existing educational material, including resources for peace education and to the development and provision of basic supplies and equipment.

31. UNICEF will seek to ensure that in its regular country programmes of cooperation core educational and teacher training materials are identified which can form the basis of an early education intervention during an emergency situation. UNICEF will collaborate with UNHCR to ensure continuity in approach, content and teacher training between refugee basic education and the basic education system in the country of origin. UNICEF, in its collaboration with national authorities to rehabilitate or develop the basic education system of the country of origin, will collaborate with UNHCR to facilitate access for returnee children to national schools.

32. Both agencies will coordinate with UNESCO in relation to basic education activities.

Health activities

33. UNHCR and UNICEF will continue to collaborate to meet the health needs of women and children (including adolescents) of concern to both. UNICEF will focus particular attention on support to local populations in the vicinity of refugee camps, working in conjunction with local authorities. Specific activities may include the further elaboration of standards, guidelines or manuals, as for example the production of "Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations."

34. Measles Immunization. UNHCR will advise UNICEF immediately of a new refugee situation where measles vaccination is a priority need. UNICEF will provide measles vaccine (and other antigens that may be required on an emergency basis) together with related equipment and supplies, including cold chain equipment, vaccination cards and also Vitamin A supplements. Arrangements for vaccination with UNICEF supplies will be decided by mutual agreement, taking into account the implementation capacity of national immunization services, NGOs and others.

35. EPI. UNICEF will assist national health authorities of the host country to provide full EPI services, where feasible, to refugee women and children, and will help health authorities to maintain the standard and coverage of service provision for host populations affected by refugee influxes.

36. Support to Safe Motherhood Practices. In the context of a new refugee situation, planning for implementation of maternal and neonatal care programmes will be undertaken by UNICEF and UNHCR in coordination with host country authorities, NGOs and other relevant organizations. In addition, UNICEF will make available clean delivery kits for home and institutional deliveries, whether assisted by professional birth attendants or not. When required, UNICEF will provide support to strengthen existing national referral systems for women experiencing complications.

37. Infant and young child feeding. In stabilized refugee situations, UNICEF and UNHCR will collaborate to support normal growth and nutrition in infants and young children. Emphasis will be placed on the promotion, protection and support of exclusive breastfeeding for six months and on continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond, while ensuring that children are given sufficient good-quality complementary food and the necessary care. Both organizations will ensure compliance with the established UNHCR policy for the Acceptance, Distribution and Use of Milk Products in Refugee Programmes.

38. Health education in general will also be promoted by both organizations and UNICEF will support information, education and communication activities among refugee populations, drawing on, and adapting as necessary, existing materials available in the host country and the country of origin.

39. Both agencies will coordinate with WHO in relation to basic health activities.

Water and sanitation

40. At the onset of a refugee emergency, UNHCR may approach UNICEF to assist in ensuring provision of adequate quantities of safe water and sanitary services, where feasible, to refugee populations. In the framework of its country programme of cooperation UNICEF will help national authorities to maintain the standard and coverage of service provision for affected host populations, and for returnee populations.

41. UNHCR and UNICEF will jointly review and adapt, as necessary, existing designs of sanitary facilities used in host countries in order to streamline approaches to environmental sanitation for refugees with those in force for host populations.

(iii) Reintegration Activities: Field-level Letters of Understanding

42. UNHCR will inform UNICEF concerning expected repatriation operations at an early stage of planning and negotiations for each operation or whenever large-scale spontaneous movements are expected. In preparation for the voluntary return of refugees to their country of origin, UNHCR, in consultation with the relevant government authorities, will agree on complementary initiatives focused on the areas of return, which will ensure the effective reintegration of the people, the availability of essential services, and the inclusion of these areas and their populations in longer-term national development programmes.

43. In each instance, such planning and proposed initiatives, whenever appropriate and feasible, shall be the subject of a field-level Letter of Understanding which reflects the particular circumstances surrounding the voluntary return and reintegration into the country of origin. In particular, such Letters of Understanding should set out, inter-alia, the specific institutional framework for cooperation; the agreed activities of each agency in support of returnee communities, especially those aimed at the capacity building of governmental structures and non-governmental organizations; and the intended linkages between the activities of both organizations.


Resource mobilization

44. Each organization is responsible for mobilizing the resources necessary to discharge the responsibilities set out herein. Should insufficient resources be available for immediate action, the other organization shall be consulted. For certain special operations, a decision may be taken to issue a Joint Appeal. Both organizations will participate in DHA-coordinated consolidated interagency appeal processes.

Public information

45. UNHCR and UNICEF will share relevant information of interest to the media, NGOs and the public about children of joint concern. UNHCR and UNICEF will cooperate, at both Headquarters and field levels, to promote public awareness of the situation of children of concern and the work of each organization to address their needs. Where appropriate and feasible, this cooperation may take the form of joint or coordinated development of public information materials and activities. Each agency shall designate focal points at Headquarters for regular consultations in this respect.

Phase-out and handover

46. Prior to the agreed conclusion of any activities pursuant to this MOU or to a field-level letter of understanding, or where either UNHCR or UNICEF expects that resources will be insufficient for the purposes intended, a mutually agreeable plan for phase-out shall be prepared.

47. Each agency shall be responsible for any outstanding obligations or liabilities that they may have incurred. Assets, inventory or resources, if any, that remain after the conclusion of the activity of the MOU shall be considered for free handover to the Agency with a continuing presence or related operations in the area, to national institutions, or to suitable NGOs or other institutions responsible for the beneficiary population contemplated by the activity.


48. Nothing in this MOU shall effect the relations of either signatory to its Governing Body, nor the contractual relationship and administrative supervision of UNHCR and UNICEF to their operational partners.

49. The implementation of this MOU will be in compliance with the respective administrative and financial rules and procedures of UNHCR and UNICEF and be subject to the availability of funds.

50. This MOU will enter into force upon signature and shall be of indefinite duration.

51. This MOU may be terminated by either party upon 90 days written notice.

52. This MOU may be modified at any time by mutual consent of the parties.

53. The Executive Heads of both organizations will meet when necessary to discuss policy issues, and will nominate senior officials to meet at least annually (or regularly) to review strategic and implementation issues of particular interest to both organizations and to propose possible courses of action to address them.

Geneva, 14 March 1996

Signed for

United Nations High Commissioner

United Nations Children's Fund

for Refugees

Sadako Ogata

Carol Bellamy

United Nations High Commissioner

Executive Director

for Refugees





1.1 Even before the conclusion of the 1985 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), UNHCR and WFP had established a very close partnership in the service of refugees. This was significantly strengthened with the new working arrangements introduced progressively from the start of 1992. A revised MOU, reflecting experience with these new arrangements, became effective at the start of 1994. This 1997 revision reflects the experience in implementing the provisions of the first revision.

1.2 The MOU sets out its objectives and scope, and establishes the division of responsibility and arrangements for needs assessment, food mobilization, logistics, appeals, monitoring, nutritional surveillance, reporting, and coordination. The last section contains the general conditions governing the MOU.

1.3 The Statute of UNHCR mandates the Office to assume the function of providing international protection to refugees and of seeking permanent solutions to the problems of refugees. Within the United Nations system, UNHCR is thus responsible for the protection and welfare of refugees, and for helping to find durable solutions, including voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement in third countries. Subsequent General Assembly resolutions have given UNHCR certain responsibilities in respect of stateless persons and returnees. In specific situations, and further to a request from the Secretary-General or a competent principal organ of the United Nations, UNHCR may also act on behalf of persons displaced internally for refugee-like reasons and those threatened with displacement.

1.4 The definition of persons within UNHCR's competence in the Office's Statute places emphasis on a well-founded fear of persecution. Additional criteria have been progressively added to accommodate the evolving nature of refugee flows. In many situations, UNHCR now provides protection and assistance to refugees fleeing persecution, conflict and widespread violations of human rights.

1.5 WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system. WFP meets the emergency food needs of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), and provides the associated logistic support; uses food aid to support economic and social development; and promotes world food security, defined as access of all people at all times to the food needed for conducting an active and healthy life. WFP thus has both an emergency and a developmental role. The latter is of particular relevance in WFP's cooperation with UNHCR and other agencies, including financial institutions, in rehabilitation activities in the country of origin. Within the scope of the MOU, WFP has the lead responsibility for mobilizing basic food commodities and the resources to deliver them.

1.6 To achieve its objectives, the MOU must be of value to UNHCR and WFP colleagues in the field, and reflect their experiences. Suggestions to improve its usefulness are encouraged. Full and open cooperation and exchange of information at all levels are prerequisites for the success of the vital partnership for which the MOU provides the framework.


2.1 Through the timely provision of the right quantity of the right food and related non-food inputs, UNHCR and WFP seek to ensure:

- the restoration and/or maintenance of a sound nutritional status through a food basket that meets the assessed requirements, is nutritionally balanced and is culturally acceptable; and

- the promotion of as much self-reliance as possible among the beneficiaries, through the implementation of appropriate programmes to develop food production or generate self-employment, which will thereby facilitate a progressive shift from general relief food distribution towards sustainable development-oriented activities.

2.2 UNHCR and WFP are committed to ensuring that food aid is targeted at the household level and reaches the most vulnerable, and that its delivery respects the guiding principles of humanitarian action. They will also work together to implement strategies to involve the beneficiary community, and particularly women, in all aspects of the management of food aid.

2.3 The MOU is a management tool contributing to the achievement of these objectives by defining clearly the responsibilities and arrangements for cooperation between UNHCR and WFP. It does so in a way that maximizes the strengths and comparative advantages of each organization for the benefit of all concerned, and that ensures the necessary coordination.

2.4 The MOU covers Cooperation in the provision of food aid to refugees, returnees and, in specific situations as defined in paragraph 1.3, IDPs, provided that the beneficiaries number at least 5,000. Where the beneficiaries are located in developed countries (namely countries other than those listed in the OECD/DAC Annual Report as aid recipient countries that fall below the threshold for World Bank loan eligibility), the provisions of the MOU will still apply provided that the availability of the necessary donor resources would not be at the expense of WFP's relief operations in developing countries. This will be determined by WFP on a case-by-case basis.

2.5 UNHCR will meet the food needs of persons of its concern but outside the scope of the MOU as defined above, and those of any persons who, while falling within the MOU's scope, have been excluded by a situation-specific agreement with WFP.


3.1 UNHCR and WFP will undertake contingency planning and maintain contingency plans for countries where this is deemed appropriate. Each will seek to ensure joint participation - with others concerned - in the process, and share relevant contingency plans where these could not be developed jointly.

3.2 The indicative energy, protein and micronutrient requirements established by FAO and WHO, adjusted as necessary to take into account the demographic composition and other relevant factors specific to the beneficiary population, will provide the basis for the calculation of food needs. A common set of agreed nutritional guidelines will be used for assessing the food needs for both the general and any selective feeding programmes that may be necessary.

3.3 The Government of the country of asylum and UNHCR are responsible for determining the number of refugees, while WFP and UNHCR will jointly assess the number eligible for food assistance. An accurate identification of beneficiaries and a sound assessment of their needs are essential for the mobilization and efficient use of the resources made available to both organizations.

3.4 UNHCR has developed and will maintain appropriate refugee-registration mechanisms, UNHCR has a joint responsibility with the host Government for ensuring that refugee numbers are established as accurately and as soon as possible after a new refugee emergency, and updated regularly thereafter. The size and the nature of the influx will determine the type of registration mechanism to be used. Pending registration, the most appropriate techniques will be used in order to estimate numbers and identify beneficiaries. In normal circumstances registration/verification will take place within three months of the start of a major influx. Arrangements must be made to register any new arrivals thereafter. Registration data should be verified and updated continuously, particularly during, but not limited to, food distribution. Verification of data on all beneficiaries should be repeated periodically, as required by the situation.

3.5 UNHCR will ensure that WFP is fully involved in the planning and execution of refugee enumeration/registration arrangements for actual or potential beneficiaries of food aid. Where a satisfactory registration has not been possible within three months, UNHCR and WFP will jointly determine the number of beneficiaries in need of food assistance. Operational partners and local representatives of donor Governments should be closely associated with this and other aspects of enumeration and registration. Should there be disagreement between the respective country offices on the number of beneficiaries to use in the absence of a satisfactory initial registration, the problem shall be referred to the headquarters level for resolution. Pending such resolution, WFP will provide food to the number of beneficiaries it estimates to be in need of assistance.

3.6 In consultation with the relevant government authorities, operational partners and experts, as appropriate, UNHCR and WFP will jointly assess the overall food aid and related relief requirements. Both agencies will agree on the modalities of food assistance, composition of the food basket, ration size, duration of assistance, as well as on directly related non-food inputs which may have an impact on the nutritional status of the beneficiaries. Special consideration will be given to the needs of women, children and vulnerable groups. The views of the beneficiaries, especially those of women, will be sought. The proposed food assistance programme will take into account all relevant factors, including the socio-economic and nutritional status of beneficiaries, cultural practices, overall food availability, prospects for self-reliance, availability of cooking fuels, and the need to minimize the environmental impact of using the cooking fuels selected.

3.7 UNHCR is responsible for determining the nutritional status of refugees and for the implementation of such selective feeding programmes as may be found necessary in addition to the agreed general ration. The results of nutritional surveys will be shared with WFP. The nutritional status of the refugees will also be examined as part of a joint food aid needs assessment. The decision to implement selective feeding programmes will be taken in consultation with WFP on the basis of agreed guidelines. UNHCR will keep WFP informed regularly on the implementation of such programmes.

3.8 Whenever possible, UNHCR and WFP will promote the use of food and non-food aid to encourage and support the self-reliance of the beneficiaries and of their communities, as appropriate. Measures will include food for work, and the provision of non-food inputs such as seeds and agricultural tools.

3.9 In a major new emergency, the initial assessment to determine the number of beneficiaries and the most urgent food needs will normally be carried out within the framework of the emergency response being mobilized by both agencies, and would involve the participation of emergency response teams from UNHCR and WFP, as appropriate.

3.10 In ongoing operations, a review of food needs will normally take the form of a periodic joint assessment mission, undertaken either with country-based or outside staff. The composition of the mission will be mutually agreed. WFP will normally provide the mission team leader and a logistician, if required, and UNHCR a nutritionist and other specialist staff to help assess levels of economic self-reliance, if applicable. The participation as full mission members of selected donor and operational partner representatives will be encouraged so as to promote donor support for the mission's findings. The views of the relevant national authorities and of the beneficiaries will be sought. Jointly established guidelines for food needs assessment missions will be followed. Changes to the recommendations agreed by a joint food needs assessment mission shall be made only by mutual agreement, after discussion between the headquarters.

3.11 WFP will be closely associated with the planning and implementation of repatriation operations, and decisions on the use of WFP food will be taken jointly. If a repatriation commission is established by the Governments concerned and UNHCR, WFP should be a formal or informal observer at its meetings, whenever appropriate.

3.12 Food aid can also play a key role in the successful reintegration of returnees after their repatriation, when assistance to communities or areas is likely to be more appropriate than individual entitlements. Post-conflict rehabilitation activities are required not only for returnees but also for the affected population in the country of origin. Complementary linkages between the short-term reintegration efforts of UNHCR, such as quick-impact projects, and the development activities of WFP and others should be built so as to promote sustainable socio-economic recovery and a successful reintegration of returnees. Whenever appropriate, WFP will promote community and/or area-based projects in such sectors as food security, community services, infrastructure and production that would use food for work or monetized food aid. A joint (or multi-organization) reintegration strategy will be drawn up accordingly.

3.13 At the field level, joint plans of action setting out the agreed objectives and implementation arrangements for operations under the MOU shall be developed and updated regularly.

3.14 Should the UNHCR or the WFP country office consider that developments since the last needs assessment warrant a change in the agreed ration or number of beneficiaries, the other organization shall be advised immediately. The implications of these developments will be reviewed jointly and a course of action agreed.

3.15 Should the country offices not agree on a course of action, the issue shall be referred to both headquarters for appropriate resolution. Pending resolution, food assistance will be provided at the level established by the last agreed assessment, if applicable.


4.1 WFP is responsible for mobilizing the following commodities, whether for general or selective feeding programmes: cereals; edible oils and fats; pulses and other sources of protein; blended foods; salt; sugar; and high-energy biscuits. Where beneficiaries are totally dependent on food aid, WFP will ensure the provision of blended foods or other fortified commodities in order to prevent or correct micronutrient deficiencies.

4.2 UNHCR is responsible for mobilizing complementary commodities. These include: local fresh foods; spices; tea; and dried and therapeutic milks.

4.3 The joint needs assessment will determine the specific commodities and quantities required. The assessment will also determine whether cereals are to be provided in whole grain or as flour. For practical, nutritional and environmental reasons, it is generally preferable to provide flour in the early stages of an emergency, but such provision may be difficult to sustain in protracted operations. If whole grain is provided, local milling capacity must be available, and the ration should include compensation for milling costs (normally 10 percent up to 20 percent, if justified), if these costs are borne by the beneficiaries. WFP is responsible for mobilizing the necessary resources for milling and will provide milling facilities to the beneficiaries where feasible.

4.4 WFP will consult UNHCR immediately should it become clear that WFP may not be able to ensure the timely arrival and/or milling of food to meet the needs agreed under the MOU, whether because of unavailability of resources, delayed deliveries, logistical problems, or any other constraints. Corrective action may include borrowing from the Central Emergency Revolving Fund of the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs and UNHCR advancing funds to WFP against later reimbursement.

4.5 In particular cases where micronutrient requirements cannot be met through the ration, UNHCR will assume responsibility for the provision of the necessary micronutrients until the ration can be adjusted or fortified to meet these needs.


5.1 WFP is responsible for the timely transport to agreed extended delivery points (EDPs) of sufficient quantities of those food commodities it is responsible for mobilizing. WFP is also responsible for storing these commodities at the EDPs, and for managing the latter. WFP will keep UNHCR informed of the in-country logistical arrangements made to implement the agreed programme.

5.2 The location of an EDP will be proposed by the country offices, in accordance with agreed guidelines, and confirmed by UNHCR and WFP headquarters. The location selected should minimize overall costs and maximize management efficiency of the operation as a whole. EDPs should be located where sufficient warehousing space can be made available to ensure regular final distribution and the most efficient possible onward transportation, thus avoiding the need for further intermediate storage or trans-shipment between the EDP and the distribution location. Management and security considerations are particularly important. There should normally be a full-time UNHCR and WFP presence at the EDP location.

5.3 Unless otherwise agreed, UNHCR is responsible for the transportation of all commodities from the EDP and for their final distribution. Responsibility will be assumed ex-warehouse (i.e., EDP) or Free-on-Truck/Free-on-Rail, taking into consideration practice in the country. UNHCR shall make all logistical arrangements for the food commodities for whose mobilization it is responsible, and shall keep WFP informed of the logistical arrangements made to implement the agreed programme.

5.4 Arrangements for the final distribution of food commodities to beneficiaries will be agreed jointly by the Government and UNHCR, in full consultation with WFP and in conformity with the UNHCR commodity distribution guidelines. These arrangements will respect UNHCR and WFP's policy of ensuring the maximum possible appropriate involvement of the beneficiary community, and of women in particular, in all aspects of distribution. The final distribution of food commodities will normally be the responsibility of an implementing partner of UNHCR, whose designation shall be jointly agreed by UNHCR and WFP. The distribution modalities and the responsibilities of the implementing partner for reporting on the distribution and use of food commodities will be the subject of a tripartite agreement among UNHCR, WFP and the implementing partner. UNHCR is responsible for ensuring that implementing arrangements also provide appropriate guidance to beneficiaries on how to prepare food in a manner that minimizes cooking time and safeguards its nutritional content.

5.5 In targeted feeding programmes such as school feeding, food for work, and in non-camp situations in the country of asylum or in situations where food assistance is targeted to both IDPs and refugees, UNHCR and WFP may agree to transfer the responsibility for distribution to WFP.

5.6 There is no automatic retroactive entitlement when full distribution of the agreed ration has not been possible. The decision on any retroactive distribution will be made jointly by UNHCR and WFP, taking into account the nutritional status of beneficiaries, measures taken by them, and any liabilities incurred in coping with the shortfall, its economic impact, and the future availability of resources.


6.1 UNHCR and WFP will each mobilize the cash and other resources necessary for the discharge of their respective responsibilities. Thus, WFP will mobilize all international and land transport, storage and handling (LTSH) costs, milling costs, if applicable, and any other resources required for the transport of its commodities up to the EDPs, storage at, and the management of, EDPs. UNHCR will mobilize cash and other resources necessary for all other aspects of commodity management and distribution from the EDPs onwards, and for all aspects from mobilization and purchase to delivery and distribution of the commodities for which it is responsible.

6.2 UNHCR and WFP will ensure that the resource implications for each organization are set out in all approaches to donors and related documentation in a manner that makes these responsibilities and their complementarity clear. Details on country-specific LTSH and distribution costs will be provided. Approaches to donors will be coordinated, and UNHCR will share with WFP in advance the text covering food needs in any appeal to donors. Joint approaches will be made whenever appropriate, both at the start of a new operation and at any time should it appear that the response of donors will not ensure the timely delivery of the necessary commodities.

6.3 UNHCR and WFP will urge donors to pledge commodities and cash for all food requirements under this MOU through WFP, rather than bilaterally. WFP will manage all contributions channelled through it, and coordinate and monitor donor pledges and shipments, including bilateral and nongovernmental donations, of all commodities, seeking to adjust delivery schedules as necessary. UNHCR will be kept informed accordingly.

6.4 WFP will seek to ensure that bilateral food resources for refugees, returnees and IDPs falling under this agreement, whether channelled through WFP or not, are accompanied by the full cash resources needed to cover LTSH and other related support costs.

6.5 UNHCR will support WFP's specific approaches to donors to provide cash for local, regional or international purchase, so as to ensure that the needs of beneficiaries are met in the most timely and cost-effective manner possible. UNHCR will also support WFP's general approaches to donors for cash contributions to bring the Immediate Response Account (IRA) of the International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) up to, and maintain it at, the approved level, and for contributions to any similar fund, so that WFP can respond swiftly to new emergency food needs.


7.1 WFP will maintain an effective system for monitoring the food pipeline and keep UNHCR closely and regularly informed, at the field and headquarters levels, of its status and developments. WFP will immediately alert UNHCR should it appear that the pipeline may not be able to meet agreed needs.

7.2 UNHCR will organize regular nutrition surveys and maintain, in consultation with WFP, an effective surveillance system for monitoring the nutritional status of beneficiaries. The results will be shared with WFP as an important element to measure the progress and efficiency of the joint feeding programme.

7.3 UNHCR will establish, in consultation with WFP, an effective monitoring and reporting system for each operation under this MOU, with special attention given to qualitative information on the socio-economic status of beneficiaries as this affects their food needs. The responsibilities of the Government or other implementing partner entrusted with the distribution of WFP food will be set out in the tripartite agreement referred to in paragraph 5.4 in a manner that allows effective programme management and meets WFP's and UNHCR's requirement to account to their donors. This agreement will require the partner entrusted with distribution to report directly to both WFP and UNHCR on the distribution and use of WFP food. UNHCR and WFP field staff will undertake periodic joint monitoring missions at the food distribution sites.

7.4 UNHCR and WFP will seek to have multilateral donors accept the documentation provided to their Executive Committee and Executive Board, respectively, as fulfilment of reporting requirements, instead of requiring donor-specific reporting.


8.1 Close cooperation, and an open and frequent exchange of information and assessments between UNHCR and WFP at the field level are essential. This should also enable the resolution of most actual and potential problems without referring them to headquarters. Regular and structured meetings will be held in the field to review progress and developments, and ensure a coordinated response.

8.2 The UNHCR and WFP country offices, in liaison with the relevant Government authorities as appropriate, will establish food aid coordinating mechanisms that allow regular consultation and exchange of information with multilateral and bilateral donors, the diplomatic community, other United Nations organizations concerned and NGO partners. UNHCR will ensure that the necessary operational coordination mechanisms outside the capital are established in close consultation and with the participation of WFP.

8.3 WFP will share with UNHCR the authorizing documents for assistance under the MOU before they are finalized. Letters of Understanding (LOUs) between WFP and the Government will expressly provide for full access to and monitoring by both organizations of all aspects of the operation covered by the LOU. The need to associate UNHCR formally in a tripartite LOU will be considered jointly on a case-by-case basis.

8.4 WFP and UNHCR will collaborate on public information activities to promote awareness of the food and related needs of beneficiaries, understanding of each organization's role, and support for the work of each organization to address these needs. In all joint operations, WFP and UNHCR will acknowledge the role of the other to both the media and the general public in order to ensure the common goal of donor and host government support. At the field level, there should be adequate visibility for each organization.

8.5 At the headquarters level, coordination on operation-specific matters is the responsibility of the respective operations managers. Joint field missions will be undertaken when warranted by specific situations. Coordination on commodity and resource mobilization issues is the responsibility of respective resource mobilization services. Responsibility for coordination on overall policies and functional issues lies with the Directors of UNHCR's Division of Operational Support and WFP's Operations Department, who will encourage direct contacts among the technical, logistic and programme coordination staff concerned.

8.6 When either UNHCR or WFP is elaborating or developing emergency response capacities, systems and guidelines or taking any other action that could potentially benefit (or duplicate) the work of the other, the responsible unit in the other organization is to be informed and every effort should be made to maximize the benefits to both.

8.7 Each organization will develop and maintain its own training materials for discharging its responsibilities. Joint training courses will be held, with priority given to the field. These courses will focus on cooperation in implementing the provisions of the MOU and on a better understanding of the other organization's responsibilities and constraints. Such courses would normally use the training materials of each organization in combination. In addition, each organization will seek to offer the other places on courses with a more general relevance, such as emergency management training.

8.8 Joint headquarters-level meetings with Governments and others concerned by specific country or regional operations will be organized as required. If either UNHCR or WFP organizes a meeting with external bodies on operations covered by the MOU, the other organization will be invited.

8.9 The evaluation services of UNHCR and WFP will organize joint evaluations as appropriate, taking into account the scale and complexity of operations covered by the MOU. When an evaluation of a joint operation is organized by one organization, the other shall be informed and invited to participate.


9.1 This revised MOU shall come into effect as of 31 March 1997, superseding the revised MOU dated January 1994.

9.2 It governs cooperation in all operations covered by its terms except those, or those parts of, operations as may be specifically excluded by mutual agreement.

9.3 The MOU may be modified at any time by mutual agreement. It will be kept under regular review by a joint task force established for this purpose by the Executive Heads of UNHCR and WFP.



Catherine Bertini

Sadako Ogata

Executive Director WFP

High Commissioner UNHCR