The principle executive organ of the Unit is the UN Disaster Management Team for Ethiopia - a committee chaired by the Resident Co-ordinator and comprising the heads of all the operational UN agencies active in Ethiopia. The DMT is responsible for preparing contingency plans designed to ensure a co-ordinated UN relief response, provide a strategy for resource mobilization, including the use of locally available resources and compile data on preparedness measures. The DMT is also responsible for providing early warning information and alerting the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and the headquarters of member agencies to signs of an impending crisis and for recommending appropriate preventative and preparedness measures.

The UN OCHA-Ethiopia acts as both the secretariat and operational (albeit limited) arm of the DMT, collecting and analyzing information on relief needs in the country, providing background briefings, discussion papers and general field reports as well as advice and guidance on the use and deployment of available resources, supporting inter-agency collaboration and in providing a linkage to the NGO and donor community on humanitarian issues. In this capacity, the office hopes to further enhance the already exceptionally high level of UN co-ordination and inter-agency co-operation that exists in the country and add substance to the concept of linking relief to development.

Through the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator, who is also the UN Resident Co-ordinator and Resident Representative of UNDP, the Emergencies Unit reports to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (Head of the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) in New York. In this respect its responsibilities are to maintain a flow of information on the relief situation in the country and to alert OCHA to any particular resource requirements.

With good working relations and the free exchange of information being at the centre of inter-agency co-ordination, the office recognises the importance of its continued active participation in a whole range of both regular and ad hoc committees responsible for relief and rehabilitation policy, field operations and co-ordination. It therefore works closely with a wide range of government, NGO and UN partners both in Ethiopia and elsewhere in the region.

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