Ireland’s Rapid Response Corps
Ireland's Humanitarian Standby Roster, the Rapid Response Corps, is closed for recruitment.
Rapid Response Initiative
Under Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, we regularly deploy highly-skilled and experienced individuals from our Rapid Response Corps roster to work as surge capacity with Ireland’s UN Stand-by partners as part of their humanitarian and emergency response efforts.
Rapid Response Corps member, Peter Cooney (on Right) visiting a camp for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri, Nigeria in his role with the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as Civil Military Coordination Officer, to assist with the humanitarian response effort, including access to and protection of civilians.
The Rapid Response Corps (RRC) currently comprises over 120 experts with specialised skills in logistics, engineering, water and sanitation, humanitarian coordination, protection and other areas. Most have worked extensively overseas in humanitarian and/or development settings.
Individual members of the Corps are deployed at the request of those UN humanitarian agencies with which Ireland has concluded formal bilateral Standby Agreements under the UN Stand-by Partnership Programme. These four UN agencies are the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The Standby Partnership Agreements commit Irish Aid to maintaining a Standby Roster of personnel with general skills profiles and other specialised qualifications that match the requirements of the UN Partner Agencies and who can be available at short notice for deployment where gaps exist.
33 roster members have been deployed to date in 2019 to Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Palestine, Nepal, Cameroon, Venezuela, Sudan, Kenya, Turkey, Malawi, Ghana, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Zambia.
Irish Aid provides pre-departure training to Roster members, in conjunction with the Defence Forces’ UN Training School Ireland (UNTSI) in the Curragh Camp. This includes a general orientation on humanitarian response, and training on humanitarian reform and architecture, and on humanitarian codes, standards and best practice. It also includes training on personal safety and security to prepare Rapid Responders for the challenging and difficult environments they will work in.
We also encourage and support our Roster members to participate in UN and other donors’ specialised training courses from time to time, for example in civil-military coordination, child protection in emergencies, emergency preparedness and response, cluster coordination and gender-based violence in emergencies.
Rapid Responders usually receive a daily stipend during their deployment. Public servants who are also Roster members may, subject to their employer’s approval, be deployed on assignment from the Roster and retain their salary and benefits.
Irish Aid also meets basic costs while on deployment including travel to and from the RRC member’s duty station, food and accommodation, visas, vaccinations and insurance. Rapid Responders receive medical check-ups prior to departure and are provided with advice and assistance in case of illness or emergency while in the field.
Find out More
Read about the experience of members of Irish Aid's Rapid Response Corps.
For further information, please select ‘Rapid Response Initiative’ from the drop down list on the contact us form
Ireland's Rapid Response Strategy
Our Rapid Response Strategy outlines how we implement the Rapid Response Initiative.
Find out more
Read our Rapid Response Corps Information Leaflet
Read about John’s experience as a member of Irish Aid’s Rapid Response Corps
Find out about more volunteering opportunities with Irish organisations