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About Us

Earthquake damage in the province of Dhamar, Yemen.

© UNESCO/Rouhban
Earthquake damage in the province of Dhamar, Yemen.

UNESCO is a capacity building and human development organization founded in 1945, which contributes to relief and reconstruction in Post-Conflict/Post-Disaster situations in the fields of education, the sciences, culture and communication, in close coordination within the overall United Nations system-wide response.

UNESCO’s strategy in post-conflict and post-disaster situations is highlighted in the Medium Term Strategy. The UNESCO Strategic Programme Objective 14 entitled "Support through UNESCO’s domains to countries in post-conflict situations and post-disaster situations" defines UNESCO’s mandate and added value.

UNESCO’s technical assistance and advisory services not only provide urgent support to assess damages and mitigate losses, but also support national authorities, international partners, and professional and civil society organizations in longer-term sustainable reconstruction (“building back better”), disaster risk reduction, early warning systems, and peacebuilding institutions. UNESCO places its emphasis on the human and institutional dimensions of relief, recovery and reconstruction, with specialized strengths in education at all levels, media and press freedom, mitigating threats to culture and World Heritage.

UNESCO has been increasingly called upon by its Member States to respond to Post-Crisis situations, with USD185 million in ongoing extra-budgetary support for Post-Conflict/Post-Disaster activities in 25 countries, according to the 2009 external evaluation (SPO 14).

Working within United Nations system-wide coordination mechanisms, UNESCO focuses on five operational strengths:

  • Education in Emergencies and Reconstruction
  • Natural Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Culture and World Heritage in Emergency Situations
  • Media in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations
  • The Promotion of Gender Equality in Crisis Situations
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