Background of IHP

In 1995, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and the Swedish Rescue Services Agency (SRSA) founded the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) to provide multi-national collaborative support to humanitarian operations of the United Nations. They were joined in 1998 by the Norwegian Department for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DCPEP) and the Finn Rescue Force (FRF) of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (N-MFA) joined in 2002, and the Estonian Rescue Board (ERB) joined in 2006, and the German Agency for Technical Relief (THW) joined in 2009. The newest member of IHP, ASS Luxembourg, joined in 2014. The IHP Secretariat and permanent focal point is provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva. The partnership currently has eight members, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

IHP is a platform for international cooperation and sharing of resources, providing appropriate operational, technical and financial support to multilateral organisations (primarily the UN, but also the EU and other humanitarian actors) engaged in humanitarian assistance around the world. Support is provided in both complex emergency (conflict-related) and natural disaster situations. 

Ever since its foundation, the IHP has been a successful demonstration of voluntary multi-national cooperation between governmental bodies active in the field of humanitarian assistance. The partnership is structured around a common aim and objectives, sharing of collaborative values and an operational problemsolving mind-set. IHP is goverened by a network structure with no binding agreements amongst the countries. The partnership is managed by a rotating chair system. These factors have made it to a brand name for timely, effective and appropriate humanitarian response.

All the IHP members are a part of, supported and funded by their respective governments.

Aim and objectives

The overall aim of IHP is to enhance emergency response efforts through supporting operational actors within the field of humanitarian assistance and coordination in order to save lives and reduce the impact of conflicts and natural disasters.

The objectives of IHP are to:

  • Enhance operational capacity in emergencies through deployment of specialized surge capacity (experts and equipment) to multilateral organisations.
  • Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness in emergencies.
  • Strengthen coordination of humanitarian assistance and faciliate information sharing as well as encourage cooperation between various actors in emergencies.
  • Provide a practical demonstration of donor government cooperation and coordination
  • Enhance emergency preparedness, through capacity building, trainings and exercises