USG John Holmes and MINURCAT, OCHA, UNHCR, and NGO representatives meet with returned IDPs in the
village of Louboutigue, Chad. ©UN/Olivia Grey Pritchard
The Humanitarian Liaison Unit (HLU) serves as the interface between the humanitarian community and the mission, and works closely with OCHA, UNHCR, and other humanitarian organizations. In light of MINURCAT’s mandate in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1778 to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance in eastern Chad and northeastern CAR, HLU has the following 3 objectives:
- Contribute to the protection of civilians (refugees, IDPs, and host community).
Act as focal point between humanitarians and the mission. MINURCAT understands the concern of humanitarians not to compromise neutrality, impartiality and independence by being perceived as close to armed elements. Because of this, the mission uses HLU as an entry point for humanitarians to address their questions or concerns regarding the mission, and for mission elements to communicate issues with the humanitarian community.
Work closely with OCHA on civil military coordination (CIMIC). HLU is the CIMIC focal point within the mission, and channels all information regarding civil/military cooperation through OCHA. Mission-specific civil/military guidelines are in the process of being developed by OCHA, with input from the HLU.
Participate in Protection Cluster meetings. HLU receives recommendations from the Protection Cluster which are shared with the mission. The Unit also communicates any pertinent information from MINURCAT elements to the Protection Cluster, in line with its strategic approach of focusing on high risk areas and identifying return areas to increase its support to the Cluster.
Share information from MINURCAT with humanitarian organizations and vice versa. Information on the military component of the UN Peacekeeping Mission will be shared by MINURCAT with the humanitarian community.
- Contribute to the enlargement of humanitarian space and facilitating humanitarian activities.
Mobilization of mission logistics in support of humanitarian activities. HLU mobilizes internal and external mission resources to support humanitarian activities when requested, according to availability, including facilitating movement of humanitarian aid workers and cargo on UN flights, and assessment missions using mission helicopters to areas inaccessible to fixed-wing planes. HLU intends to mobilize military engineering assets for support of humanitarian activities once MINURCAT deploys UN Peacekeepers in eastern Chad.
Within MINURCAT, coordinate activities of substantive sections relating to humanitarian support.
HLU ensures that when substantive sections work to support humanitarian projects, there is no overlap or duplication. The role of HLU is to support and facilitate humanitarian activities, while it is important to note that OCHA is responsible for overall coordination.
Information sharing between MINURCAT and the humanitarian community. HLU shares security information received from the MLO and UNPOL with humanitarians to assist them in planning their activities accordingly. In turn, HLU shares with the UNPOL and the military pertinent information from the humanitarians.
- Ensure an effective working relationship between MINURCAT and the humanitarian community.
Participate in meetings between MINURCAT and humanitarians. HLU attends all humanitarian coordination meetings in its capacity as focal point between the mission and the humanitarian community, and is well placed to respond to inquiries or recommendations relating to military, UNPOL or substantive sections.
The HLU has its main office in Abeche, in addition to a liaison office in N’djamena. Field deployment will include Goz Beida, Farchana, and Iriba for the period 2008 through mid-2009. Beginning in mid-2009, HLU will deploy to Guereda and Bahai. HLU is currently recruiting Humanitarian Liaison Officers for the liaison office in N’djamena and sub-regional offices.
Officers from HLU can be contacted at the following numbers:
Joseph Inganji Chief of Section 235 690 0139
Aine Joyce Humanitarian Liaison Officer 235 690 0001
Francesco Moschetta Humanitarian Liaison Officer 235 359 4432
Erin Shiffer Associate Humanitarian Liaison Officer 235 690 2435