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Inter-Agency Standing Committee endorses Sphere

In July 1997, the Sphere Project was launched by a group of humanitarian agencies. This project sought to develop a set of universal minimum standards in core areas of humanitarian assistance, water supply and sanitation, nutrition, food aid, shelter and site planning and health services.

The aim of the Project is to improve the quality of assistance provided to people affected by disasters, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system in disaster response.

The UN's Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group met in New York in September. During this meeting the IASC endorsed Sphere1. The IASC is one of the main interagency fora for the UN system. In September the IASC working group endorsed Sphere standards as an important tool for anyone working with populations affected by disaster. They also called on all IASC members to promote the use of the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response within their organisations, particularly in their field operations.

The Sphere project highlights this as an important milestone in the Sphere process, in particular with respect to UN agencies that work with NGOs in disaster response.

Eighteen NGOs worldwide have been piloting the implementation of the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards over the past year. The Sphere implementation staff are collating lessons learned from this period and will be publishing a paper on the website in November. Examples include using Sphere around the project cycle, in advocacy for the rights of disaster-affected populations and in interagency coordination.

For further information contact: The Sphere Project, 17 Ch. des Crêts Petit-Saconnex, P.O. Box 372 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland. E-mail: sphere@ifrc.org Tel: (4122) 730 4501 Fax: (4122) 730 4905 www.sphereproject.org

Show footnotes

1AROUND SPHERE IN 60 DAYS: Sphere Project Newsletter No. 6, October 2000 www.sphereproject.org For further information, please contact the Project office in Geneva at 41-22-730-4501 or sphere@ifrc.org.

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Inter-Agency Standing Committee endorses Sphere. Field Exchange 11, December 2000. p9. www.ennonline.net/fex/11/inter

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