At the end of March 2018, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and its partners estimated that 5.5 million people in Sudan require humanitarian assistance, an increase of 0.7 million compared to 2017. The increase is due in part, to the South Sudanese refugee influx, disease outbreaks, food insecurity and malnutrition. While agricultural production in Sudan improved in 2017, food insecurity continues to be driven by rising prices for basic commodities.
Sachiyo Miwa served as a UN Volunteer Associate Humanitarian Affairs Officer with OCHA in the Sudan under the Human Resource Development Programme for Peacebuilding and Development.
During her assignment, Sachiyo gained critical oversight of the challenges actors face in delivering humanitarian response efforts. Sachiyo worked for the Coordination Support Section of OCHA, with a focus on assisting senior management in the preparation for Inter-Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) meetings and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) meetings.
In Sudan, OCHA works with humanitarian partners and alongside UNAMID, which is also mandated to facilitate humanitarian access.
Sachiyo worked on written and presentation documents, including the review of the humanitarian coordination structures at national and state levels. These documents were presented by Head of Office of OCHA in Sudan at a joint UN Country Team and Humanitarian Country Team meeting.
A testament to Sachiyo’s expertise, these documents are now considered the basis for further discussions on shaping a coordination structure that can support humanitarian and development response while enhancing peace building.
Sachiyo’s work contributed to resource mobilization in the recently accessed Jebel Marra region in Central Darfur, as she consolidated inputs provided by active sector coordinators. She drafted the Multi-Sector Rapid Response Plan which focused on the urgent humanitarian needs associated with malnutrition among children under five in Jebel Marra localities.
Of her experience, Sachiyo remarked “I believe my professional skills, including coordination skills and communication skills, have improved.”
I learned how to communicate effectively by engaging with various sector coordinators and my colleagues in the field. It was my first experience working for a UN entity, in which people from different countries and with various cultural backgrounds work together. I enjoyed working in such a diverse work environment. --UN Volunteer Sachiyo Miwa, OCHA, Sudan
Sachiyo’s supervisor, Daphine Hunter Bariira praised her contribution to improving humanitarian coordination. “The humanitarian landscape is evolving and therefore more work is required to ensure better linkages with development actors.”
Over the period I worked with Sachiyo, I have seen her grow professionally and learn the importance of humanitarian coordination. I’ve also seen her improve her analytical and drafting skills, be more assertive and willing to take on more responsibility. UN OCHA Sudan has benefited from Sachiyo’s expertise and experience. --Daphine Hunter Bariira, Sachiyo's supervisor with OCHA
This article was prepared with the kind support of UN Online Volunteer Helen Maccan.