During 2016, the Emergency Response Roster (ERR) provided 56 staff for deployments to 20 countries.  This included 12 deployments to three Level-III emergencies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen as well as 18 to OCHA-declared corporate emergencies in Ethiopia, Nigeria and Haiti. Already during the first five months of 2017, the ERR has deployed 26 staff.  With the recent declaration of a corporate emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and extension of those in Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia, demand for ERR deployments is expected to remain significant for the rest of the year.

ESB’s Surge Capacity Section (SCS) announced the ERR Call for Applications for its 22nd round on 16 June 2017.  Some 50 OCHA staff members applied and 43 were selected for the Roster, which runs from 1 October 2017 to 31 March 2018.  Up to 24 ERR members will also participate in the Field Response Surge Training (FIRST) — from 6 to 13 September 2017 in Vienna (Austria).

The 22nd Call coincided with an exceptional supplementary call for applications to ERR 21.  The additional call was required to identify French speaking staff to support the humanitarian crisis in the Kasai region of DRC, which has experienced an upsurge in unrest and violence since August 2016.

With previous rotations attracting up to 100 submissions, the significantly lower number of applicants for the 22nd rotation is noteworthy.  The reduction is partially explained by the overlapping supplementary call as well as staff uncertainty related to OCHA’s internal change management process.   To continue to address the Organization’s ongoing surge requirements, SCS is working with other Sections and Branches to attract and manage ERR membership as well as to complement internal capacity with resources from the Associated Surge Pool and the Standby Partners.