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close this bookHandbook for Emergencies - Second Edition (UNHCR, 1999, 414 p.)
close this folder20. Administration, Staffing and Finance
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentEmergency Staffing
View the documentBudget and Finance
View the documentNon-Expendable Property and Office Supplies
View the documentOffice Premises
View the documentOfficial Transport
View the documentOffice Organization
View the documentKey References
View the documentAnnexes


1. The purpose of this chapter is to provide general guidance on UNHCR's basic administrative procedures and actions in an emergency. Nothing in this chapter should be read as altering any existing rules, regulations and instructions, in particular the UNHCR Manual. The latest edition of The Checklist for the Emergency Administrator (hereinafter referred to as the Checklist) is an essential reference for administration in emergencies. The Checklist comes in three parts:

i. The actual checklist (a few pages). This is reproduced as Annex 1;

ii. Annexes to the checklist (in a large folder) which are primarily samples of the most frequently used administrative forms and extracts from the UNHCR Manual;

iii. A computer diskette containing many of the forms.

Throughout this chapter references are given to the relevant item in the Checklist.

2. The chapter considers particularly the opening of a new office in an emergency, but may also be helpful when expanding an existing office or establishing Sub or Field Offices.

3. The status of an established UNHCR office is governed by an agreement between the host government and UNHCR, called a Cooperation Agreement, also referred to as a "Branch Office Agreement" or an "Accord de Siege". (See Checklist section on Premises). Until such an agreement is concluded, UNHCR will be covered by UNDP's agreement with the host government. In addition, the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 19461, is applicable to UNHCR and covers such matters as the inviolability of United Nations premises, the right to operate foreign currency accounts, exemption from direct taxes and customs duties on articles for official use, and facilities and immunities for communications. Specific considerations in respect of the emergency operation, for example regarding the handling of relief supplies, would be set out in the exchange of communications concerning the government's request for material assistance and in the project agreement (see chapter 8 on implementing arrangements).

1 Contained in UNHCR, Refworld CD-ROM.