Humanitarian Financing - Overview

OCHA coordinates global humanitarian funding appeals and manages global and country-specific humanitarian response funds on behalf of donors and the broader humanitarian system. These funds provide the resources that humanitarian organizations need to immediately provide urgent assistance after a sudden-onset disaster, or when critical funding gaps emerge in ongoing humanitarian operations.
Each year, OCHA works with humanitarian partners around the world to identify the most critical needs for the next 12 months, plan responses and determine the budget needed to address them, and to monitor funding gaps. 
OCHA also works with Member States to deliver the required funding through the most appropriate channels, including the OCHA-managed CERF and CBPFs.

Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)

Maina Kaderi IDP camp, Diffa, Niger. Last February 2017, CERF released $100 mil for the world's most neglected crises. Credit: OCHA/F.Gabellini
OCHA manages the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which the General Assembly established in 2005 to respond quickly to new and deteriorating emergencies and sustain life-saving assistance in ongoing but neglected crises. Rapid-response funding helps to jump-start activities in sudden-onset emergencies and helps humanitarian partners to scale-up and expand assistance when a situation suddenly deteriorates. CERF also turns a spotlight on forgotten or neglected emergencies by providing specific underfunded-emergency allocations to the countries most in need. Recognizing CERF’s critical role in humanitarian funding, the General Assembly passed resolution A/71/L.32 in December 2016, calling for an increase in total CERF funding from $450 million to $1 billion per year. 

Country-based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) 

The DRC Humanitarian Fund has funded critical education and health projects in South Kivu, DR Congo. Credit: OCHA/G.Cortes
Country-based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) are established by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) when a new emergency occurs or when an existing humanitarian situation deteriorates. They allow donors to pool contributions into single, unearmarked country-specific funds to support humanitarian efforts, and are managed locally under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC). CBPFs allocate funds to the best placed responders (international and national NGOs, UN Agencies, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement organizations) through an inclusive and transparent process in support of priorities set out in Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP).
OCHA continues to invest in improvements to CBPFs management tools and systems. CBPFs offer an optimal tool to deliver on the Grand Bargain commitments, including direct support to front-line responders. In 2016, CBPFs were the largest source of direct funding for national NGOs. Currently, there are 18 active CBPFs, which together received a record $706 million in donor contributions in 2016. Recognizing their critical role, the UN Secretary-General's Agenda for Humanity called on donors to increase the proportion of HRP funding channeled through CBPFs to 15 percent by 2018, which would translate to more than $1.9 billion per year.