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Humanitarian Hubs

Last updated: 22 May 2023


IOM manages several humanitarian hub operations in a wide range of emergency settings in close collaboration with its partners. These facilities are primarily aimed at improving humanitarian actors' access to affected populations by providing accommodation, meeting, and communication facilities in isolated field locations. Humanitarian Hubs can either be set up temporarily (light or heavy base camps) or in permanent structure types (buildings, hotels, etc.). These hubs are established based on requests for support, issued collectively by the members of the Humanitarian Country Teams (HCT), and are hence considered a common humanitarian service. Support for the establishment of heavy and light base camps can be sought from the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) network.


Upon a decision by the Humanitarian Country Team to establish or scale up operational humanitarian presence in a new location, based on clear need, a request will be made to the IOM Country Office (CO) to act as the lead agency for the establishment of office and/or accommodation space for humanitarian actors. The IOM Country Office will then reach out to the IOM HQ PRD Emergency Response team for further discussions and support in establishing and managing a Humanitarian Hub. Once the request for support has been approved, the IOM Country Office, in coordination with the HCT and OCHA, will take the lead in coordinating the establishment and management of the Humanitarian Hub, in close coordination with the committing donor (i.e. IHP, MSB, Humanitarian Fund, etc.). A sample Humanitarian Hub project checklist can be found below:


Before Official Request to SBP/IHP Discussions will be ongoing between IOM and the Humanitarian Country Team/OCHA on the humanitarian situation, needs and possible locations.
Site Assessments Site assessments of where to build the HH(s) will take place, assessing security, land ownership, as well as the identification of potential partners to whom the HH could be handed over to. Sites assessed can include land for new construction or existing compounds if available.
Funding Source In coordination with OCHA/HCT and IOM HQ, the IOM CO should reach out to potential donors four resource mobilization. For the establishment of temporary light/heavy base camps, the IHP network can be utilized. For applications, the IOM CO will draft a request for support and submit an official service package request form to the IOM HQ IHP focal point at HQ (keeping the Regional Office in copy).
IHP Support The IOM HQ IHP focal point will review the request, share it with the IHP and, if approved, will draft a Letter of Agreement between IOM and the involved IHP members for approval.
Land selection and procurement IOM, in coordination with OCHA/HCT, will select the final site, obtain from the local authorities the necessary documents for the lease of land for new construction or acquire and validate the lease of already existing compounds as needed. Land lease and tenure will be under IOM's name and responsibility.
Cost-share/funding outreach Although donors are expected to cover the majority of the HH project costs, a 30% cost-share will need to be covered by the lead UN agency. IOM CO, in close coordination with OCHA/HCT, will determine funding and donor outreach to cover the cost-share portion of the HH project.
Implementation Phase IOM together with its donor (IHP, MSB, etc.) will coordinate the implementation of the HH construction, including the deployment of SBP personnel, the expedition, customs, import and storage of equipment, and the procurement and contracting of local equipment and contractors, based on SBP/IHF and IOM agreement.
Maintenance of HHs SBP/IHP will be responsible for HH maintenance until selected managers are trained and the facility is handed over to IOM.
Humanitarian Hub Management IOM CO, in coordination with OCHA/HCT, will manage the hubs unless a formal handover to a selected implementing partner (IP) has been agreed with IHP. A Letter of Agreement will be signed with the selected IP to formally handover the HH management.
Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation HH operations will be monitored and reported against performance indicators to be shared with the HCT and the SBP. Regular reporting on the use of the facility to the SBP is also expected.
Handover and Exit Plan Should one or several of the HHs be dismantled, and irrespective of the reason why, IOM will dispose of the assets donated by the donor according to IOM's internal procedures, endeavoring to find alternative use for the equipment and materials donated by the donor. IOM shall keep the donor informed of such decision and actions.

Relevance to IOM’s Emergency Operations

IOM, in partnership with the IHP, first started to support the creation of base camps in 2014, targeting hard to reach areas in South Sudan, allowing humanitarian organizations to rapidly implement relief activities. Since then, IOM has become a primary partner for Humanitarian Country Teams in the establishment of humanitarian hubs in difficult settings when the need arises. Humanitarian Hubs (HH) allow IOM to gain and establish access in hard-to-reach areas and provide common facilities for humanitarian actors in a country to create a lifeline for affected populations and serve as a base for staff, IT services, logistics and warehousing and other relevant services.

In 2022, IOM managed 20 inter-agency humanitarian hubs in five countries: 3 in Afghanistan, 1 in the Central African Republic, 9 in Nigeria, 6 in South Sudan, and 1 in Yemen. The total capacity of these operational hubs is 1,665 persons (for both office space and accommodation).

IOM's Role

Upon request from the Humanitarian Country Team, IOM will play the lead role in the construction and management of Humanitarian Hubs. While Humanitarian Hubs may be managed by IOM directly or through the organization's implementing partners, decisions pertaining to hub establishment, management, and closure are consistently coordinated with HCTs, as well as the donors. Please reach out to IOM HQ PRD Emergency Response (emergencyresponse_prd@iom.int) to receive further support in the coordination of the establishment and management of HHs.



For questions or support, please contact the IHP focal point at HQ PRD Emergency Response via emergencyresponse_prd@iom.int.

Key Points

  • IOM is establishing common facilities for humanitarian response, either managed by IOM or an implementing partner, upon request by UN Humanitarian Country Teams.
  • This effort facilitates access to affected populations in new and hard-to-reach locations.

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