UNDP Around the world

Crisis response: How we do it

 Six years into the conflict in Syria, over 50% of the population is either internally displaced or has fled the country. The crisis has drastically rolled back the region’s human development achievements.

UNDP’s crisis response toolbox includes fast deployment of first responders and planning teams for recovery, including for post-disaster and post-conflict needs assessments, and the application of fast-track procedures for procurement and operational support. The management of the crisis response toolbox is centralized through UNDP’s Crisis Response Unit to ensure effective coordination, a strong whole-of-UNDP approach, and consistent engagement with humanitarian actors.

A key feature of UNDP’s crisis response toolbox is the UNDP Crisis Response Packages, which enable the organization to deliver concrete actions on the ground, in its areas of expertise and within a few hours of the onset of a crisis.

UNDP’s Crisis Response Packages

 On 13 March 2015, category 5 Cyclone Pam struck Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Within a week, experts from UNDP's SURGE roster were deployed to provide additional capacity. Photo: Silke von Brockhausen/UNDP


UNDP’s Crisis Response Packages allow UNDP to deliver quick, effective and predictable interventions on the ground in its expertise. These packages allow the organization to operate in the very early period of crisis response, creating a practical entry point for

  • collaboration with humanitarian actors; and
  • integrating early recovery and resilience-building early on as the crisis is still unfolding.

Stronger link between humanitarian and development actors

As the lead agency in the Global Cluster on Early Recovery, UNDP engages with humanitarian actors to ensure that resilience-building begins immediately and simultaneously with humanitarian activities.

The artificial separation between humanitarian and development issues, actors and funding channels continues to be an obstacle to effective crisis response in many settings. The realities show immediate and long-term needs are interdependent. UNDP is working closely with humanitarian partners to re-shape the way we work together in order to address the humanitarian and development aspects of the crisis at the same time, in a coordinated way, through sustainable and country-led responses.

Engaging with the World Humanitarian Summit

It is important that the humanitarian and development community takes the opportunity of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and the post-2015 processes to carve a new way of working together in crisis settings, to find better ways of enhancing the resilience of those most vulnerable. UNDP participates in and contributes to the WHS preparation process and actively works to find solutions to issues such as protracted displacement, together with our humanitarian partners.