UNHCR launches shared web portal for Horn of Africa emergency

Press Releases, 19 August 2011

Nairobi, 19 August 2011

UNHCR today launched a new website providing detailed and regularly updated information from the agency and its operational partners on the refugee and displacement emergency in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa.

The new site http://data.unhcr.org/horn-of-africa/ provides a comprehensive information-sharing portal for all of the refugee agency's operational partners involved in bringing relief to millions of people affected by insecurity, drought and famine throughout the Horn of Africa region.

"This new web portal provides a single platform upon which we and our operational partners across the region can share information on any aspect of our work," said Thomas Albrecht, manager of UNHCR's Regional Support Hub in Nairobi, which hosts the site. "In a rapidly unfolding crisis, more information means better coordination among aid agencies and the more rapid, effective delivery of life-saving assistance."

The site provides a regional overview of the Horn of Africa as well as specific information on conditions and activities at the country and camp level. Resources include statistics, including data on populations and movements; maps; current indicators for several humanitarian sectors, including health; news and information updates; and the latest funding information. Adapted to low-bandwidth environments, the site provides easy-to-read data graphics; access to a variety of current documents; and quick links to a variety of partner web sites.

While still in the development phase, the urgency of the crisis prompted UNHCR to launch the site now to provide an immediate one-stop platform where all humanitarian partners will be able to regularly contribute vital information. Dozens of operational partners and UNHCR field staff are being consulted about their needs and priorities for the new web portal and will soon be able to directly post their own information and data, contributing to the overall timeliness and accuracy of the site.

At launch, the new site contains pages at the regional level, as well as at the country level for Kenya and Ethiopia. The Kenya and Ethiopia pages are further broken down to the camp level for the Dadaab camps in Kenya and the Dollo Ado camps in Ethiopia. Over the longer term, additional Horn of Africa locations will be added along with additional topics and types of Information.

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